Valiant Golden Lane residents lose fight to protect prized trees

Golden Lane residents were fighting to save seven mature trees lining the estate
Golden Lane residents were fighting to save seven mature trees lining the estate

Residents on Golden Lane have been left reeling after the City Corporation signed off on a plan to uproot a number of trees to facilitate a development on the estate.

On 29 January, City of London Primary Academy Islington’s controversial application to discharge a condition that would protect several silver birch and cherry trees from being felled during construction was approved.

The greenery is slated to be replaced post-construction by three saplings. Estate gardening committee, the Golden Baggers, who lobbied against the condition being discharged, said that removing the trees will have a “devastating impact” on local wildlife and worsen the air quality at nearby Prior Weston Primary School.

But their arguments failed to sway members of the transport and planning committee, much to the dismay of Jacqueline Swanson, who alongside fellow resident Anna Parkinson and councillor Sue Pearson, presented objections to planners.

Ms Swanson said: “Applications for the discharge of conditions is usually decided by planning officers (a motion was passed at the December committee meeting to bring the decision to the full committee) and the fact they were not comfortable making this decision and instead elected to send it to the full transport and planning committee indicates the complete disregard the applicant has for due process.”

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation said: “The redevelopment of the former Richard Cloudesley School will deliver much needed school places for local people and new homes for social rent.

“We are retaining one tree and committed to replacing the trees removed on the western boundary as a result of construction works as soon as possible and prior to the occupation of the school.”