Tree-felling on the site of the new primary school
Residents have expressed their dismay at the felling of numerous trees at the site of the new school and the lack of information made available to the community. Cllr Wardrop took this matter up with GCC and received the response below from Development, Property & Land Services. We note that council officers will be available to attend our meeting on Tuesday 3rd September to respond to particular concerns. Please send concerns/questions to us in advance if possible (or leave a comment below).
In relation to your request for a programme for the tree works, please note that the tree removal works commenced on 30 July 2019 and will conclude on the 16 August 2019.
Further tree planting works will take place during the construction programme for the new school and will be complete for August 2021 when the new school opens.
We draw your attention to the various community consultation events undertaken during the scoping of the proposals for the new primary school and subsequent, statutory notifications completed as a component of the formal planning process. At no time during this process was the removal of trees hidden from view, indeed it has always been a key component of developing an appropriate facility for the education of children in this area of the city.
We note your concerns about notice not being given prior to works commencing and will ensure that communications on forthcoming activities on site are improved going forward. […]
Information relating to the details of the tree works and the survey and reporting by consultant specialists as a component of the project development and planning process is contained within publicly accessible documents at the link noted below:
The documents contained at the link above fully explain the reasons and rationale for all of the tree removal being undertaken on site.
By way of more detail on why the trees are being removed, these trees are not covered by a Tree Protection Order and are not within a conservation area. A portion of the trees are being removed as they are on the footprint of the new school, further tree removal has been advised to facilitate better woodland management and to increase the number of tree and wildlife species on the site.
As part of the design process, a Landscape Appraisal Design & Management Strategy for the development was prepared by an external landscaping consultant. They have advised the Council’s design team that the existing site hosts a mix of broadleaved groups and individual trees which provide over crowded screening to the park edges. None of the trees are considered to be in an exemplar condition due in part to this overcrowding issue.
The proposed primary education facility and accompanying external all weather sports pitch is designed to respect its urban location and invaluable mature woodland setting. The presence of a significant number of trees on site provides many benefits, particularly as the site is being developed as an education facility. Trees offer shade, shelter, habitat, screening and wind mitigation as well as offering a great deal in the way of play, educational and biodiversity. The trees around the site also have social and wellbeing benefits for residents within the neighbouring area.
In consideration of these factors, the aim has been to retain the maximum number of trees possible to create a healthy tree cover whilst balancing this with ensuring safety; a distribution which allows retained trees to reach their growth potential; and for quality and biodiversity amongst retained trees.
Additional tree planting is proposed to replace species lost and to fulfil the stated aims above. A variety of deciduous and evergreen trees is proposed, as well as fruiting and flowering trees and trees for autumn colour. Overall, a net increase in species diversity is proposed. Some shrub under planting is also proposed for soil stabilisation.
On your request for a plan of the trees affected, all information relating to the details of the tree works and the survey and reporting by consultant specialists as a component of the project development and planning process is contained within publicly accessible documents at the link noted below:
With respect of your comment regarding Forest Schools, the thinning of the trees and re-planting would not impact on the new school’s ability to deliver a Forest Schools Programme, should the staff team in the new school wish to do this. Use of the outdoors for teaching and learning is imbedded in the curriculum and will be a part of the school day and school life as a matter of course. […]
There has been engagement with the Fire Station in connection with creating the drop off area adjacent to the station and we will continue to collaborate with their representatives to achieve a suitable final arrangement.
On your request about updating the Community Council on the project and in particular, traffic safety concerns, officers from DRS will be available to attend the forthcoming North Kelvin Community Council meeting on Tuesday 3 September 2019 as you request.
If you know of any particular concerns, the officers who plan to be in attendance would benefit from being made aware of these in advance so we can provide detailed responses.