SAVE OUR TREES – Council agree to protect TPO trees

Save Our Trees campaigners have won a tree protection planning policy at North Northamptonshire Council last night for all trees with Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) on them when subject to all future planning developments across North Northamptonshire. This is too late for the limes on The Walks, although Vistry were invited to resubmit plans for the London Road trees to the council, with one councillor recommending that they waive the charge.

The above video is from the Northants Telegraph, see Alison’s report on their website.

Before the motion was heard, protesters who had welcomed councillors with placards and chanting, then packed out the public gallery as residents addressed the meeting. 59 councillors voted yes to the motion, with one notable abstention, a councillor from Wellingborough who looked very much like he couldn’t be bothered all night. But forgetting Graham Lawman, all of the other councillors voted for greater scrutiny to protect TPO trees when looking at planning.

Here is a very brief video of the four and a half hour plus meeting last night, that might also explain the abstention.

The council voted in favour of the following motion:

“North Northamptonshire has a rich heritage in both buildings and the
natural world. Among our assets are the parks and gardens which
belonged to the former sovereign councils; there are conservation areas
where planning rules are rigorous and aim to maintain the historic hearts
of our towns and villages; tree preservation orders that can be applied to
individual or groups of trees which have stood by our roadsides and in
gardens and parks for many years. All of these features together help us,
as a council to make decisions that are of benefit to the communities that
reside here.

North Northamptonshire Council has firmly grasped the desire to be
carbon neutral by 2030 and the council’s vision that acknowledges the
importance of the natural world on carbon capture, flood defences, wildlife
habitat and the health and wellbeing of its residents.
North Northamptonshire is also an area of growth and development which
will benefit the people who live here, and getting the balance between the
two, heritage and growth, can be fraught with difficulties.

One of those difficulties is evident in the way that 61 mature lime trees
were due to be felled earlier this month on The Walks in Wellingborough
to make way for a four-line road leading from the A509 to Stanton Walk
SUE, and to move the utilities associated with the works. Following the
protests of local residents, NNC negotiated a pause in the work to allow
for an information event to be held by The Vistry Group, but those trees
are still under threat unless, we use our authority to stop this senseless
and unnecessary action and require the developers to find an alternative

Ensure that reports to planning committee on applications where the
granting of planning permission would involve the removal of trees
protected by TPO(s) are supported by the advice of a suitably qualified
officer. Furthermore, such reports to contain specific information to
support decision makers to assess the weight considered appropriate by
the officer to be attached to this material consideration to ensure that any
resident or organisation relying on the system is treated equally and fairly,
and that all local historic and natural heritage sites within NN communities
are appropriately protected, while continuing the drive to provide homes
and jobs for the community.”

Motion 1 – Proposed by Cllr Valerie Anslow and seconded by Cllr Anne

Here is the whole recording of the Full Council Meeting. To save you watching the entire four hours and forty minutes here is a timeline guide. Watch 11:30-24:45 for Wellingborough residents speakers. 32:45-38:30 for a question and answer by Cllr Jason Smithers. 327:30-418:30 for Motion 1, TPOs (as above)

Thank you all for your support!