We’re so sorry to share the sad news that the Catalyst Housing chainsaws came to North Kensington last Monday and cut the majority of the mostly mature Wornington Green trees down.
Here is a video one of us took of locals and environmental campaigners out there:
These trees are irreplacecable and the devastion this has caused to the local environment is irreversible. The Wornington Green Estate (being renamed “Portobello Square” by Catalyst as there will hardly be any “green” left afterwards) community and the campaigners all asked Catalyst Housing to think again, to redraw their regeneration plans (approved by onw vote 10 years ago), all to no avail, as the greedy Housing Assoication’s number one priority is making money out of all the luxury flats they plan to build there and to hell with what the residents and community think or feel and the consequences of cutting down mature London plane trees which obsorb polltuion from the neighbouring Westway.
Here are some further pictures from Monday.
Here are scenes of the devastation later:
Catalyst Housing maintain the position that the trees will need to be cut down in order to build more badly needed homes. Well, let’s see about that shall we? Because with only TWO of the homes in the next phase being for social rent, here, despite their denials that these are luxury flats, are really what type of homes this supposed”social housing provider” will be building:
That’s right, in Catalyst’s own words; “luxury apartments”. As well as the moral issue of many of these supposedly much-needed homes across the road from where the reees were cut down last Monday remaining empty when we have a housing and homelessness crisis in London, particularly in this borough, there is also another moral issue in our view; and that is of that of the Association being in the act of ruining the local environment and public realm as well as the physical and mental health of residents in Golborne – RBKC’s poorest ward – in order to build them.
The video below is of when the first tree came down and so we will warn readers that this may be distressing for some to watch;
(Apologies for our appalling camerawork there but we were taking our morning exercise.)
Our blog has also heard further disturbing news and that is of plans to fell the mature trees in Athlone Gardens; we understand that the Catalyst chainsaws will be there either tomorrow or Wednesday.
This has been news to the residents and campaigners, but RBKC must have been fully aware of this – especially as Athlone Gardens is a public park managed by the council. THINK are emailing this blog post to both Cllr Johnny Thalassites, RBKC Lead Member for Planning, Place and the Environment, as well as to Cllr Emma Will, RBKC Lead Member for Community Safety, Culture and Leisure (parks, comminity gardens and open spaces are part of her brief) , so let’s see if we get any answers…
Here are some further questions that we hope both RBKC and Catalyst Housing will provide answers to:
– What are the total number of trees that have been felled in the first 9 years of regeneration?
– What types of trees were these?
– How many trees have been planted to replace the ones lost in the regeneration?
– What types of trees are the replacement trees?
– What is the calculation for the mitigation to offset any loss, and how long will it take?
– What are the projected impacts in our health and wellbeing in such a polluted area – is this planning impact legal?
Here is a reminder to both Catalyst Housing and RBKC; the community is watching you and we stand with the Wornington Green residents, we demand answers and better communications with locals on this, and our coverage of the effects on the local community and environment there will continue. After all, we are North Kensington residents too and we care deeply about this . While some of the officials don’t care and while others may turn a blind eye to what is happening , they do find it harder to ignore this when they receive further well-deserved bad publicity……
THINK will end this post with some beautiful pictures of the trees and a look back to when Wornington Green residents and the community enjoyed them and the benefits and beauty they brought to North Kensington.