Strong measures are already being put in place to protect mature trees from future developments and enhance the green skyline in Haringey.
As part of the Council’s new Local Plan, it is developing a much more robust approach to protecting existing trees. Among other measures, the plan will include a dedicated trees policy with a clear expectation of developers to retain and protect mature and veteran trees rather than fell or damage them.
Residents across the borough will have an opportunity to feed into this plan in the new year when it goes out for consultation.
The council also plans to beef up its policies to maximise the number of native trees planted as part of construction projects, with all new streets tree lined.
To ensure that the dedicated trees policy is as effective as possible the council will develop bespoke supporting guidance including further detail on how the policy should be interpreted and implemented.
As well as these enhancements, the Cabinet agreed a draft trees and woodland plan earlier this month which sets out how the council will manage trees, including those forming part of an insurance claim.
The Trees and Conservation team has been boosted to implement this plan and an accelerated tree maintenance programme for mature trees.
An additional council tree officer is already overseeing planning matters, including the inspection of developments where veteran trees exist – ensuring work carried out by the council is completed to the highest standard.
Cllr Dana Carlin, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Private Renters and Planning, said: “Protecting and preserving trees across the borough is a key priority for the council and we are determined to do everything we can to ensure this happens.
“In line with our manifesto commitment to be a fairer, greener borough and support the council’s commitment to tree planting, our planning team have and will continue to put measures in place to ensure trees are fully considered as part of the planning process. Our new Local Plan will set out a much stronger approach to protecting existing trees and our planning team will be looking to discuss designs and potential builds with all developers to ensure construction is around existing trees and not on them.
“Whilst there will be things we cannot enforce as a local authority; we will do everything in our power to work alongside our partners and make them aware of our expectations and vision of the borough.”
Cllr Mike Hakata, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, said: “With each passing year the climate and biodiversity emergencies become increasingly urgent. We are determined to take huge steps to reduce carbon with an ambitious and transformational programme which will make our borough one of the greenest in the capital. This includes not only planting thousands of new trees, but also re-writing our planning documents so that careful consideration is given to incorporating existing trees into the design and layout of any new development and protecting them during construction. It will set the standard when it comes to planning and housing developments.”
Haringey Council has set out targets to increase tree canopy cover to 30 per cent in all wards and plant at least 10,000 trees by 2030 to kick start this process.
Plans are well advanced to plant 2,000 new semi-mature trees this year alone as part of council efforts to tackle the climate emergency and become a net zero borough.
Alongside its work to increase canopy cover, the council will soon start creating a network of wildflower meadows as part of its biodiversity drive.
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