To: Worcestershire County Council

Save the Trees on New Road, St Johns Worcester

Save the Trees on New Road, St Johns Worcester

We would like Worcestershire County Council to abort plans to fell all the trees along New Road heading towards St Johns, Worcester as part of a flooding defence plan. This plan is not well thought out and raising that part of the road will not stop flooding along Hylton Road or North Parade. Losing these trees will be devastating to the area and they should be protected.

Why is this important?

Trees give a place character and help filter out pollution along that busy road. These trees have been there for almost 100 years and even if replanted (which is unlikely) will never be as majestic! It will ruin the character of Worcester and will completely change the view from St Johns into Worcester and vice versa.

Worcester

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Reasons for signing

  • This does not address the flloding issue .The council should dredge the River.
  • each and every one of those trees sucks of hundreds of litrres of rainwater, so to say they are to be felled to help prevent flooding is unscientific and very stupid. I think this decision requires far closer scrutiny as to who made it and influenced by what third party. To waste money like this in the current climate is also a very good reason to stop this project right now.
  • New Road has always been edged with trees. I'm sure you can raise the road, tarmac around the trees and infill with soil. Not rocket science

Updates

2017-12-14 22:01:31 +0000

Future schemes and plans in the county must be looked at in detail by residents before planning permission is granted and that is something many of us have learnt during this campaign. We must all take note of future plans and speak up if we are not in agreement or have concerns.

This campaign has proven that we all care a lot about these trees, our views, our heritage, our past and our future and this is not something we take lightly.

Whilst we are not entirely happy with the outcome, it has been great to see so many passionate residents and others coming together – and hopefully this can continue :)

2017-12-14 22:01:28 +0000

Whilst this is not the result we would prefer, there doesn’t seem to be much else we can do as planning permission has been granted.
*HOWEVER*
The council have confirmed how many trees will be felled and if work begins and this is found not to be the case then we will again take action and see what we can do.

We welcome people to continue signing the petition because in our opinion it:

1) Shows the council we care about our landscape, green spaces, views and heritage
2) Shows that residents of Worcestershire are passionate and want to have their say
3) Shines a light on the issue and raises awareness – the more of us that know what the plans are for these schemes, the better
3) Holds them to account – if plans deviate we can do something as a collective

2017-12-14 22:00:43 +0000

*Cricket Ground update*
We asked him to confirm what the planning committee meant when they stated that the trees taken out on the cricket ground side could not be replanted due to long term plans to redevelop the cricket club ground.

The council stated that the cricket club have invested and developed various parts of the ground in recent years such as the new club offices/related facilities and “their ambition is to redevelop/replace the stands that back onto New Road”. He confirmed: This is “about Worcestershire Cricket club continuing to develop the New Road ground as a first class cricket facility”.

Whilst disappointed that not all the trees can be saved and that there will be a huge amount of disruption – and we are still skeptical about elements of the plan- we can also see there are some benefits to raising the road in terms of turning into a duel track during times of bad flooding and keeping it open as much as possible.

Continued above

2017-12-14 21:59:26 +0000

One of us has had contact with Nigel Hudson who is Head of Strategic Infrastructure and Economy at Worcestershire County Council to try and address some of our fears and concerns regarding the New Road development.

He has confirmed that:

a) Only 7 trees will be felled as part of the raised road plan which although unfortunate just cannot be avoided at this point

b) 13 trees will be planted in Cripplegate Park to try and mitigate the loss

c) “This scheme will reduce the likelihood of New Road being closed to flooding when the River Severn bursts its banks. When this happens, Hylton Road and North Parade cannot be prevented from flooding and they have to be closed. This is when New Road is converted to take two way traffic in and out of the City, making it even more critical that it remains open for residents and businesses.”

2017-12-13 14:10:45 +0000

An interesting point raised to us by a petitioner - in the Planning Committee meeting the Council state the reason that they do not wish to replant trees in the same place along the Cricket Ground side is actually for long term plans and in their own words the potential 'redevelopment of the Cricket Ground' - listen at 14.59 https://worcestershire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/319837

2017-12-12 17:17:33 +0000

We have had a few questions and thought it may be useful to some of you who may like to see the planning documents and tree reports which are available here: http://e-planning.worcestershire.gov.uk/swift/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=17/000027/REG3&backURL=%3Ca%20href=wphappcriteria.display%3ESearch%20Criteria%3C/a%3E%20%3E%20%3Ca%20href=%27wphappsearchres.displayResultsURL?ResultID=32182%26StartIndex=1%26SortOrder=APNID:asc%26DispResultsAs=wphappsresweek1%26BackURL=%3Ca%20href=wphappcriteria.display%3ESearch%20Criteria%3C/a%3E%27%3ESearch%20Results%3C/a%3E

We have asked the council today for further clarification on the exact trees they wish to fell, why they cannot be saved and if there is a guarantee on replanting. This plan could be changed and surely the council could work around at least some of these trees!

2017-12-08 18:24:14 +0000

Lovely to have some exposure about this petition on BBC Hereford and Worcester

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-hereford-worcester-42174117?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=5a2a9755e4b02f757f165852%26Hundreds%20back%20campaign%20to%20save%20city%27s%20trees%26&ns_fee=0#post_5a2a9755e4b02f757f165852

Please keep signing this petition and share with your friends and family!

2017-12-08 13:17:11 +0000

I have just been asked if there is someone at the council we could get in touch with to voice our concerns about these plans and put more pressure on them and think it is a great idea!

Joshua Scholes Planning Officer involved in the plan: devcontrolteam@worcestershire.gov.uk

Also worth getting in touch with the two Councillors who voted against the plan as if they know they have a strong backing of residents maybe they can do something!
Pat Agar former mayor: PAgar@worcestershire.gov.uk
Paul Denham: PDenham@worcestershire.gov.uk

2017-12-07 23:24:28 +0000

From 0.27 mins please listen to Mr Paul Denham's excellent arguments against this plan. Total flood closures of New Road for 2007 and 2014 was 12 days in total. The disruption for the works to be carried out is 18 WEEKS! Average days lost by floods here is 1 day a year. There is no justification surely.
0.31 Mr Mark Bishop, Development Control Manager can give no actual financial cost benefit for doing this scheme and also do not give a figure on how much it will cost the taxpayer either....

https://worcestershire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/319837

2017-12-07 23:18:07 +0000

If anyone wants to watch the committee meeting please see here https://worcestershire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/319837

Interestingly, at 1.27mins the chairman Mr Rob Adams (who seemed to really try to push a yes vote) admitted he has only visited Cripplegate park once - during the site visit which some councillors attended before voting this through! So he has voted for this huge change and yet he has never even walked down New Road...

2017-12-07 23:06:01 +0000

Some great ideas here in the comments - we need to get some answers from the council with regard to this.
1) how often it floods and it's environmental impact
2) it's financial impact and weight that up against the impact of the closed road and visually
3) if New Road is open but the bridge or Hylton road is closed then surely that negates having all this taxpayer money spent on the road if during severe flood no one can actually get to it - this to me is one of the biggest issues apart from the tree felling.. Surely it is a pointless exercise if the surrounding area is flooded.

2017-12-07 13:00:57 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2017-12-06 22:51:41 +0000

Brilliant to see so many people have signed the petition! Share it on Facebook and social media - let's really try and stop this!

2017-12-06 21:29:59 +0000

500 signatures reached

2017-12-06 08:46:45 +0000

100 signatures reached

2017-12-05 22:21:12 +0000

50 signatures reached

2017-12-05 19:17:47 +0000

25 signatures reached

2017-12-05 18:01:04 +0000

10 signatures reached