December 12 2013 Latest news:
Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Trees in Woodford Green earmarked for protection by Redbridge Council may still be cut down by Transport for London (TfL).
TfL is working on the Central Line next to Kings Avenue to stabilise the embankment and line.
Residents won a concession from TfL to visit the site with the council to earmark trees, some of them oak trees which are more than 100 years old, for protection.
A TfL spokesman said: “The local authority tree officer highlighted the trees that he hoped we would be able to retain, but the majority of these are very close to where we need to work.
“While we may be able to avoid damaging the tree trunks, it is probable that the roots would become damaged, causing the tree to die or become unstable and a risk to the railway.”
Transport bosses say the engineering works can only go ahead once vegetation and dozens of mature trees have been cleared.
Residents, backed by MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, Iain Duncan Smith, raised concerns about the work last month, including the likely noise and impact on house prices.
TfL began felling last Wednesday and will continue for the next four weeks.
The spokesman said: “We will retain as many trees as possible.”
Rab Hashem, of Kings Avenue, said: “It’s horrendous, it’s not good news. I’ve got some beautiful trees behind my house. I will be pressing them for more concessions.”
The TfL spokesman said: “After completing the work we will devise a planting scheme and work with the local authority to address residents’ needs.”
A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “The council submitted site visit notes indicating which trees it would most like to see retained.
“However, ultimately the decision as to which trees are retained sits with London Underground as it has the legal right to carry out certain railway works.”