|Address||31 - 45 Lower Ashley Road St Pauls Bristol BS2 9PZ
|Proposal||Construction of a 4-storey block of flats to provide 28 units of residential accommodation including affordable housing, cycle parking, refuse storage and amenity space.|
|Neighbour Consultation Expiry||23-06-20|
|Standard Consultation Expiry||09-06-20|
|BCC Planning Portal||BCC Planning Portal|
|Public Comments||Supporters: 2 Objectors: 423 Unstated: 11 Total: 436|
|No. of Page Views||0|
|Comment analysis||Map Date of Submission|
|Nearby Trees||Within 200m|
Recommendation submitted 23-07-19
See also the earlier Planning application - 15/05530/P
Bristol Tree Forum 2nd Comments (12 June 2020)
The Bristol Tree Forum (BTF) strongly opposes this planning application as it will result in the unnecessary removal of three important trees. The application fails to mention the five TPO Norway maple trees of which two were felled some months ago. Indeed, of the seven important trees in the photograph, only three now remain.
This is an area which already exceeds air pollution limits and has low tree canopy cover. Bristol must retain the trees and implement its own policies:
Bristol Planning Policy DM15 states, “Many tree species absorb gaseous pollutants and also capture particulate matter.”
The One City Plan is for a 25% increase in canopy cover by 2035; 100% by 2046. Cutting down important trees is not the way to achieve this. Few of the replacement trees will be planted close by in the resident area. Any loss of carbon, canopy and ecosystems will not be recovered for decades. This is a crucial staging post in the wildlife corridor, providing ecological services in line with Ecological Emergency and One City Plan (double wildlife abundance by 2045)
Bristol's Planning Policy BCS9 states "Individual green assets should be retained wherever possible and integrated into new development". These trees are on the edge of the development site and therefore can be retained. Alternative designs have been provided to the developer which keep the trees, and the BTF is very disappointed that these have been ignored.
Bristol has declared climate and ecological emergencies. Given the significant community concern over the trees and the local and national media coverage, we urge the Committee to think very carefully about the message your decision will send out about Bristol’s Green credentials.
Vassili Papastavrou. Secretary Bristol Tree Forum. 12 June 2020
19/02157/F – 31-45 Lower Ashley Road St Pauls Bristol BS2 9PZ
Bristol Tree Forum 1st Comments (23 July 2019)
Bristol Tree Forum opposes this planning application as the trees concerned are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (a fact not mentioned by the developer) and the site could be developed with the trees still present. We have valued the trees at £244,919.
Local residents are strongly opposed to the removal of the trees as they offer a pleasing relief to an otherwise highly developed and much-used urban space, and mitigate against the heavy pollution along this road. In addition, the Council and the Mayor (via the One City Plan) have endorsed a commitment to doubling Bristol’s tree canopy by 2046. Cutting down large trees such as these is no way to achieve that policy aim. Also, the government’s 25-year environment plan requires developers to demonstrate planning gain – especially environmental gain. Removing these trees and planting just two (as is proposed) in their place cannot achieve this.
A pending planning application (18/06646/F) has been made for relating to the immediately adjacent property at Nos. 17-29 Lower Ashley Road for a very similar building to the one applied for in this application. This should be taken into account when considering this application.
In addition, we have several comments to make on the “Arboricultural Statement, Revised July 2019” (the Report). Beyond some new introductory text which does not appear to have been written by an arboriculturalist, the report itself has not been substantially revised from that used in the previous Planning Application, 15/05530/P made in July and August 2015 and revised in January 2016. The Report is out-of-date, no longer valid, and has errors and omissions as detailed below:
1. The Report fails to mention that the trees in question are protected with Tree Preservation Orders (TPO number 941).
2. The Report is out of date and no longer valid. Section 4.3 states that “the condition survey and any recommendations given are valid for a period not exceeding one calendar year from the date of issue of this report”. The report is dated 20 January 2016. We understand that in the light of recent events, the developer was asked to provide a new arboricultural report in line with the material in the new planning application. This has not been done.
3. The Report fails to mention that three trees have been hacked to various degrees in July 2019 by operatives with no professional expertise and no concerns for Health and Safety
4. The Indian bean trees on the neighbouring site no longer exist, having been cut down some time last year following the refusal of Planning Application 17/01898/F made in respect of the adjacent property at Nos. 17-29 Lower Ashley Road. This is not mentioned. Instead the Report recommends that their “crowns will require some cutting back”.
5. We do not believe that the supposed problems with canopy cover and loss of light into the new building are insurmountable. A quick walk along many residential roads in Bristol will show many trees in close proximity to buildings where they enhance the houses as they would do here.
6. In addition, it would be possible to design foundations (e.g. screw pile foundations) which would allow the building to be constructed without interfering with the root system of these trees.
7. The report does not include measurements of the trees save for giving a range of between 375 to 540 cm for the five Maples. In any event, these measurements, taken more than three years ago, are now incorrect. In July 2019 we measured the DBH of the trees and calculated the BTRS replacement trees that would be required as 21, not the 19 advised in the report.
8. The Report contains a generalised tree bibliography, but it is not clear whether the author has referred to any of the items in the bibliography when writing the report.
9. We have valued the trees using CAVAT (Community Asset Valuation of Amenity Trees – full method) at a total of £244,919, so these trees have substantial amenity value which will not be replaced for many years, even if the 21 BTRS replacements are ever planted. If these replacement trees are valued then, using the same CAVAT criteria used for the current trees, they would be worth just £11,197 when planted, a loss of £233,722 of the current amenity value, a useful proxy for calculating planning gain.
These are our BTRS and CAVAT calculations.
Bristol Tree Forum
23 July 2019