Bristol news Children's artwork removed from scene of maple trees protest MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Campaigners have taken drastic action to protect the remaining trees
Breaking News ! Children's artwork has been removed from the scene of a protest to protect three maple trees near the M32 after plans to build flats there were turned down. Campaigners have taken drastic action to protect the remaining trees in St Pauls, staging round-the-clock vigils and staying in treehouses to prevent them being chopped down for a housing development. The protesters say the maples are crucial to help reduce some of the dangerous vehicle emissions from the nearby motorway and prevent health issues in the community. Two of the five Norway maples have already been felled as part of the developer's preliminary works in Lower Ashley Road. However, plans for the four-storey block of flats in the road are now set to be rejected. Councillors last week said the site is no place for families because the air quality is so poor and that the proposed building would make it even worse. Today's top stories 'Brawl' in Castle Park Builder dies in freak accident Fight breaks out near IKEA Call to rename two more buildings Less than a week later on Monday (June 29), workers appeared on the site and removed framed artwork from children showing support for the protest. Describing what happened yesterday, protester Jill Tarlton said: "I got a call to come down at around 9.15am. When I got there I saw a worker arguing with one of our campaigners about the artwork. "We were given several reasons why the workers were there. We were told the pictures' frames could be used as a climbing wall and that the holding needed to be painted again. "The children's artwork was beautiful and put up so people could learn about the campaign and the general public could be informed." Protesters stood around two women chained to one of the trees "We don't want it to be a battle in the streets," the 63-year-old added. "We need the council to make the decision to protect those trees." John Tarlton, professor of regenerative medicine at the University of Bristol and husband to Jill, said: "The poor levels of air pollution in the area are causing health problems. "Life expectancy goes down in areas with high pollution, which is linked to respiratory diseases, heart disorders, strokes and even things like alzheimers. "These trees absorb pollutants of all types and are extremely important in an urban environment." Read More Related Articles Police investigating 'it's okay to be white' posters in Nailsea town centre Ornella Saibene, another protester at the scene yesterday, told Bristol Live: "I got there at around 8am and the workers were there about the same time.
. We asked them about it and they kind of ignored us. "I think people know the place is occupied by protesters and that developers won't be interested until its sorted out. I am hoping people see sense because you can't breathe money." Clayewater Homes, the developer who applied to build the four-storey block of flats, said they were not involved in yesterday's dispute and that it was the landowner's responsibility. "We only have an option on the land and have no control over it whatsoever," a spokesperson said.
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The saga so far A coalition of groups, which includes the Bristol Tree Forum, Clean Air Alliance and Youth XR, claimed the trees were not part of the development site and are actually owned by Bristol City Council. Protesters have since climbed up into the remaining three trees and built platforms in them to prevent them being cut down.
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A spokesperson for the Save the M32 Maples previously said: "The coalition of campaign groups battling to save three remaining mature maple trees from developers discovered that these trees were not in fact on part of the development site itself. "They were rather situated on the highway, therefore publicly owned and in the care of the council." In response, Mayor Marvin Rees said in February earlier this year that the council, as well as Clayewater, believe that the land is owned by housing developer John Garlick.
How the block of flats, with 40 per cent affordable housing, at Lower Ashley Road, would look
(Image: Block 3 Architects/Clayewater Homes)
"Bristol City Council, Live West and Clayewater believe that the land is owned by Mr Garlick. We have supplied evidence that states our position and provided the plan demonstrating private ownership," he said. "The landowner has pre-existing permission to build out a site of student accommodation and offices – therefore delivering zero units of affordable housing but it is clear there is an ambition for Clayewater to deliver this derelict site for housing for social rent.
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"In a growing city where houses for social rent are sorely needed, every potential loss of units will be keenly felt." However, Clayewater's application is set to be rejected, with councillors telling officers, who recommended approving the flats, to come back with a report outlining reasons for refusal.
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Despite 375 letters of objection, councillors also heard the trees were doomed to be felled anyway because of previous approval in 2019 for student houses and mixed use. The development control committee, meeting virtually on Wednesday, June 24, was told the council’s air quality team also objected to the development, along with Montpelier Conservation Group, Bristol Civic Society and Bristol Tree Forum. Bristol Live was unable to approach Mr Garlick for comment.
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