We are a group of local residents who are taking action to challenge Tower Hamlets Council over plans to dig up the veteran Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree and demolish part of a historic listed building as part of developer Crest Nicholson’s redevelopment of the former London Chest Hospital (part of the Victoria Park Conservation area).
The planners themselves admit that it is going to cause harm, but nevertheless granted planning permission to Crest Nicholson at a Strategic Planning Committee Meeting held in September 2018.
We are not against the development in principle as there is a pressing local need for genuinely affordable housing. However, we are aware that whatever is built on the site will have an impact for generations to come, so it is vital to get it right. We are determined that the development is to be done in a sensitive way - so that it doesn't detrimentally affect the veteran Mulberry Tree and the unique built heritage of the main hospital building.
We are raising money for legal advice to explore whether or not the process by which the local authorities granted permission for these 'harmful' proposals was reached lawfully and if there is a case to bring a judicial review challenge to quash the grant of planning permission, in order to secure a better outcome than the one being offered at the moment.
Please help us raise £5,000. This £5,000 engages for us one of the best environmental solicitors in the country, to look closely at the case and see if we have grounds for a judicial review challenge. If we do not stand up to challenge this decision, the likely result is the wanton destruction of the iconic Bethnal Green Mulberry and of the grade 2 listed building.
In 2017 Tower Hamlets Council approved plans to dig up The Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree and relocate it on the site of the LCH ahead of any approved planning decision being approved by THC. A veteran local campaigner and local activists challenged this and won a consent to quash order in the high court to reverse this decision.
This is a strong campaign, valiantly led by the East End Preservation Society, that has raised the profile of this beautiful venerable living icon but it goes to show, we have to fight if we want to resist the wanton destruction of our veteran trees and built heritage at the expense of a greedy-profit driven development.
Read more on Spitalfields Life: http://spitalfieldslife.com/2018/09/21/the-fate-of-the-bethnal-green-mulberry/
Read more in The Daily Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/how-to-grow/ancient-london-mulberry-tree-threatened-block-luxury-flats/
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