The Grange Association's tree specialist has written to the Council as follows:
19/03962/TCO | Group of sycamore trees - removal. | Camilla House 19 Grange Terrace Edinburgh EH9 2LF
The Grange Association has asked me to raise its concerns about this proposal.
First, these are Norway maples, not sycamores. They are c.35ft high and probably 35 - 40 years old. They are, nevertheless, a significant feature of the streetscape of Blackford Avenue, which has few mature trees and, apart from these, almost none in its middle and lower (S) reaches. Their particular virtue is that they act as a screen against the unattractive pebble-dashed Blackford Avenue frontage of Camilla House.
They have had branches removed in the past, but none recently, so they are in reasonably good shape.
With reference to the reasons for felling these trees cited in the agent’s supporting letter:
- Many of the concerns could be addressed by cutting back the branches facing the building and removing some of the lower branches.
- While the trees at present shut out much of the light from the windows behind, it should be borne in mind that they will have a beneficial effect in dampening the noise of the traffic and acting as a barrier to dust and pollution from the road.
- It seems not unreasonable to expect the applicant to carry out the low level of maintenance involved in keeping the gutters and paths clear of leaves. Fallen leaves do not become slippery unless they are allowed to accumulate and begin to decay.
- Trees of this age are very unlikely to blow down; these are not unsafe and are no more likely to blow down than any others.
Finally, but only as a last resort, there are other options that should be considered - for instance pollarding, or removing two or three of the trees rather than all six.
I appreciate that in order to address these concerns the council will need to make a TPO. We believe this would be justified.
I hope these comments help.
Peter Pitkin, on behalf of the Grange Association.