This weekend’s mailbag has mainly been on two topics. Firstly, and happily, the Cutty Sark re-mast-ered (below.) Secondly, rather less happily, this:

From Victoria:

Do you, or anyone who reads your (marvellous – aw, gee, blush – TGP) blog, know why the council have murdered all the trees along Creek Road between the junction with Norman Road and the Magic Bookshop?

From Martin:

Do you know what has happened to the big trees at the end of Bardsley Lane next to the bookstore?  I went over there yesterday and all that’s left is a humongous pile of chippings and several stumps.  Is some deranged giant chipmunk on the prowl in Phantomland or is something even worse afoot?

The Phantom replies:

Martin – how dare you refer to our illustrious leader as a deranged giant chipmunk?

Actually I don’t even know why I’m joking about this. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about the photo above was taken by David Herbert, the owner of ‘the Magic Bookshop’, whose long-running (though ultimately victorious – huzzah) battle with the council to keep his home and business (if you missed the saga, just google his name in the site search engine…), who lived next door to said trees. When he went to bed on Friday night, it looked like that.

On Saturday morning it looked like this:

I’m actually amazed he managed to sleep through anything that could do that overnight, but hey.

Here’s the view looking towards the bridge:

He is, naturally, pretty upset about this. Apparently it’s for a new road scheme, which also raises the ugly head of his place being in the firing line again.

Anyone else feeling just a little bit less World Heritage Sitey? Gain three masts, lose five trees. As David himself says, so much for Boris Johnson’s ‘Plant a Tree’ scheme…


the attachments to this post:

david herbert treeless
david herbert treeless

creek road before
creek road before


15 Comments to “Timberrrrrrrrrr!”

  1. David Porter says:

    The Olympics strikes again? Didn’t they need planning permission?

  2. Darren says:

    Doesn’t go anywhere near the Olympic route so its not that! I would have though some sort of notice would need to be given

  3. Rod says:

    Indigo posted this on the greenwich.co.uk site. I don’t think he’ll mind me cutting and pasting it -

    “You will need to submit a Freedom of Information request, to

    Mr Alan Soskin
    Corporate Information Manager
    Greenwich Council
    Human Resources & Organisational Improvement

    asking for a BS3998:2010-compliant report/explanation for the felling of these four trees.”

    What with the smashing of the headstones in St Alfege’s and now this, the little corner of town around Bardsley Lane is getting quite a pounding just now.
    The felling of the trees didn’t take place during the night – Mr Herbert must be a late riser – it started early on Saturday morning. I have not noticed any of those notices that they usually tie to lamposts regarding any work here.
    I can’t say that I understand this – they can’t widen the road into the town centre without also demolishing the Book Shop, Up The Creek and the parade with the Thai Restaurant and the Bee Hive. Even if they did all that, what would it accomplish? The bridge over Deptford Creek would still create a bottleneck.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Rod- the road widening is to allow a right-hand filter lane into Norway Street and access to the marvelous new flats’ car park for traffic flowing (ha ha) out of the town centre.

    If the bluddy Waitrose happens it will be a small concelation, but still a sodding shame to have lost mature trees.

    Unless trees are listed there’s no reason tell anyone, or invite objections etc. Our wonderful council are good at hacking down perfectly good trees, if little else.

  5. Jeb says:

    What roadwork scheme?

    There are trenches being dug all along Creek Road – not sure if it’s gas or water mains – which might have something to do with it.

    I frequently walk from Creekside to Greenwich past that stretch of road and didn’t see any notices about tree felling. Whatever the reason, the end result is just horrible.

  6. Jeremy says:



  7. Anon says:

    Didn’t this piece of land have a planning application on not so long ago? I thought the plans were to build residential/retail on it? I certainly seem to remember the plan extended all the way up from the bookshop to Norman Road.

    Re Waitrose, I think it is still going ahead – there was a planning amendment on the Council’s website a couple of weeks ago.There is also a bit on there re materials and road alterations I believe

  8. laurelleSE3 says:

    This outrage has made me, for one, really angry, so I’m saving up a store of comments for the future after my rage has subsided a little. But in the meantime, two things: 1. Thanks to Jeremy for the information about a traffic filter scheme – could you let me know how you knew about this please? 2. When the planning application referred to by “Anon”, above, was in the early stages, I contacted the Council’s Tree Preservation officer to ask whether any of these trees had a Preservation Order on them and if not, how would I go about doing that…suffice to say after much fruitless chasing this person, I never received an answer to my enquiries; in fact the person was very evasive. I had a sneaking suspicion from then on that these trees would end up like this.

  9. Steve says:

    I’m not surprised about this. I mentioned recently to TGP about tree felling at ORNC for which I subsequently found there had been a planning application (luckily still there- a number of these have conveniently “dropped” off the system since the new council website).

    Anyway, the planning app at ORNC 11/2275/TC refers to “Cut back overhang of a row on Plane trees from pier development, on the northern boundary, back to suitable growth points and balance where necessary.” With drawing referenced in “E-mail dated 29.9.11″ (which does not appear to have been publicised).

    No mention of felling trees… Just pruning…. And 3 were taken out at Lewin Gate (at the point Discover Greenwich links to the new pier bldgs at Greenwich Promenade).

    Coincidence? Personally I don’t feel Greenwich Council or ORNC demonstrated any consideration for the trees here – or indeed for Greenwich residents. I suspect the same is true at Creek Road- there’s probably an e-mail containing “proposals/drawings” of the plans to GC which again hasn’t made it to the public domain. No need to know why now of course… The DC trees have gone too – I guess they were in the way, of progress…

  10. Jeremy says:

    Laurelle- the original plans for New Capital Quay (is that what we’re calling it now?) included the widening of this junction to accommodate traffic flow into Norway Street for the public and private car parks. The exhibition was held at Hiltons Wharf on Norman Road many years ago. Needless to say, it was far from clear that the trees would be lost.

    Turning to the plans Anon mentions, I have no idea how this scheme would be compatible with the road widening.

    Originally the whole stretch from the old bail hostel (now THAT building in its current state doesn’t exactly scream World Heritage Site) to the Norman Road junction, except Up The Creek- listed building, would have been demolished. But now the Lord Hood has been saved and the bookshop is open it’s possible the scheme isn’t viable.

    The development was to be called Creek Place and was low rise(ish) apart from the 12 story tower at the junction of Creek Road and Norman Road. But a real leap of imagination is required for the plans for Bardsley Lane: http://www.londonnasuwt.org.uk/lordhood/pictures/view_west_bardsley.jpg Different, isn’t it?!

  11. Mike says:

    @Steve, the planning consent for the removal of the trees in the ORNC is listed in 11/0724/F which details all of the changes to the access to the pier. This document is useful to understand what they want to achieve: http://onlineplanning.greenwich.gov.uk/acolnet/documents/37698_22.pdf

  12. Thanks Mike – a fascinating document – and actually I think I buy their arguments. Hooray for people thinking things through.

    Hope the new trees they plant will be planes, rather than those silly little trees that usually go in new developments.

  13. Steve says:

    My thanks, Mike… And I agree with TGP it kinda makes sense. Not sure how this doc came to your attn, but like most, I’m a reasonable guy and so long as things are open and transparent, it’s probably ok. The problems occur when information appears hidden or is unclear- which is actually the basis of most grumbles on this and similar sites… Not because we are serial moaners, but because we love where we live and just like to know what’s going on. Not too much to ask, eh? Thanks again. S

  14. Anthony says:

    An environmental group called Creekside Forum and others protested in vain several years ago when a row of mature plane trees were felled in Creek Road just west of the Hoy Inn. The Council was evasive, claiming that TfL had wanted the trees down because of alleged hazard to double-deckers. Now look at the paltry, vandal-prone specimens the developer has replaced them with.

  15. laurelleSE3 says:

    Many thanks, Jeremy, for your reply and information/link. I, too, am puzzled over what the riverside development is called; for a time we used to get pamphlets delivered with the name “Greenwich Reach”, then something else, but no info for ages. The loss of the Creek Rd trees was never mentioned in any of the plans we looked at.

    Thanks also to Steve for the information on the ORNC trees. I agree with your last post about residents not being told what is going on in their neighbourhood. I doubt that being “open and transparent” is very high on the council’s list of priorities.