Save The Trees Of Spitalfields
We need the trees in Spitalfields to remind us that these were once fields. In front of the 1927 Fruit & Wool Exchange are a line of six magnificent London Plane trees that have stood there for a generation in Brushfield St, yet these are now threatened with felling by Exemplar Properties, the developers, who seek to get rid of them to make the demolition of the building easier.
As many readers will remember, almost nobody in Spitalfields wanted the redevelopment of the Fruit & Wool Exchange into corporate offices and a shopping mall. Tower Hamlets Council voted unanimously twice to reject the proposal but Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, exercised his autocratic power to overrule them and force the development on us.
So we are losing the Fruit & Wool Exchange and The Gun pub – and now, to add insult to injury, Exemplar Properties want to cut down our trees too. Yet there is no actual necessity to do this to construct the new building and the trees are in a Conservation Area where preservation of the quality of the environment should be paramount. The trees provide an attractive green canopy in summer and offer dramatic silhouettes against Christ Church in winter. They are healthy, strong specimens between thirty to forty years old and are not a safety hazard, so there is no justification for their removal. Felling these trees serves no-one’s interests but Exemplar Properties.
The truth is that we shall need these trees even more in future to ameliorate the environmental damage of the construction project and then to provide a measure of screening from the overblown development when it is complete.
They have taken the Fruit & Wool Exchange and The Gun against the wishes of the majority of local people, but it is in our power to stop them taking the trees.
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