This update is on behalf of the W1W Tree Planting Initiative whose goal has been to plant street trees along the streets of North East Marylebone. Many living and working in this area have wondered why so few trees line our streets. They also believe it is time to improve our streets with trees and permanently ‘green’ the neighbourhood. Our current focus is on planting trees on Weymouth Street, Great Portland Street and Bolsover Street.
A real opportunity to speed up this greening process has just presented itself. Westminster City Council has now opened a consultation procedure on its planting policy and issued a document titled Trees and the Public Realm (Draft). I would like to draw your attention to the document’s Appendix B: Townscape Area and Planting Principles. The current draft of the policy advises caution for Marylebone stating that
- Avenues of new planting are not appropriate for the existing historic streets in this Townscape Area;
- The predominantly narrow streets, detailing of the architecture and distinct sense of place should be respected, and its streets, generally, left unobscured by trees;
- The limited amount of planting concentrated in the north of Harley Street Conservation Area should not be extended throughout the rest of this conservation area
Source: Westminster City Council, Trees and the Public Realm (Draft): Appendix B Townscape Area and Planting Principles, Section 16, Pages 31-32, East Marylebone
Understandably, the Initiative is concerned about the restrictions being put forward in this draft policy and will submit its own comments to the consultation.
A copy of the Initiative’s submission is available for your review here.
Westminster Tree Trust has also responded robustly in this consultation process. The Trust is a registered charity, run entirely by volunteers, which partners the W1W Tree Planting Initiative, together with Westminster City Council, towards the funding of tree planting in Marylebone. Its comments regarding the City of Westminster’s supplementary planning document ‘TREES AND THE PUBLIC REALM (DRAFT)’ is available at www.westmtreetrust.org.uk.
I would be grateful if those that live and work in (East) Marylebone would express a clear preference for more trees on our streets to the Marylebone Association, our local ward Councillors and Mr Chris Mason (Westminster City Council Policy Manager, details below) — perhaps also indicating where new tree lines would be best placed to meet the community’s environmental concerns. Comments should be addressed either via the web site page http://www.westminster.gov.uk/westminsterway or in writing to Chris Mason, Policy Manager (City Schemes), 11th Floor East, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP by 28 February 2010.
A copy of the current draft of Westminster’s Townscape Area and Planting Principles Document is available for your review here, at http://www.westminster.gov.uk/westminsterway, or at this alternate web folder address. Please see Section 16 of the document for policy guidance for East Marylebone.