2. EXPEDIENCY. The guidance states that "Although a tree may merit protection on amenity grounds it may not be expedient to make it the subject of a TPO. For example, it is unlikely to be expedient to make a TPO in respect if trees which are under good arboricultural or silvicultural management". All of the trees on Wavertree Village Green are owned by Liverpool City Council and are fitted with numbered plastic tags. We assume that this means they are part of a management scheme such as is referred to in the guidance; implying that a TPO would be inappropriate.

3. OTHER GROUNDS FOR OBJECTION. The guidance (para.3.31) gives examples of the grounds on which objections to a TPO can be made. Among these are "(3) claiming that a tree is causing damage to property". We have, for several years now, pointed out to Council officers that the branches of some of the trees have been interfering with the Lock-up (dislodging slates, blocking gutters, etc.) and periodically the offending branches have been pruned to reduce this problem. However, it seems likely that the roots of these same trees now extend underneath the Lock-up and therefore represent a threat to the future stability of this Listed Building.

The MODIFICATION WHICH WE SEEK is the amendment of the Draft TPO to exclude the trees closest to the Lock-up. We note that the TPO proposed is a Group TPO, covering the 24 trees (6 Sycamores, 2 London Planes and 16 Norway Maples) within the area marked G1 on the submitted map. The Statement of the Council's Reasons for Making the Order reads: "As the trees on this site are so prominent and significant to the character of the landscape of the Village Green they should be protected by a Tree Preservation Order ... to ensure their long term correct arboricultural management and the landscape character of the site". However, our contention is that it is not necessary to include all 24 trees in the TPO in order to protect the 'landscape character' of the Village Green. We have only suggested the felling of 4 or 5 trees, and we feel that the boundary of the Draft TPO should be re-drawn to exclude the trees closest to the Lock-up. At the same time we feel that the City Council should carry out a proper survey to justify the imposition of a TPO on the remaining trees.

In fact the "landscape character" referred to in the Council's Statement has only existed since the 1980s, when the Norway Maples - which had been planted by the City Council in the late 1960s/early 1970s - began to mature and their canopies began to merge. Only the London Planes are survivors from the 19th century planting of trees on the village green - which historically was intended as an open area with trees planted only round the edge. And in terms of "arboricultural management", we fail to see why it is necessary to preserve all 24 trees. In retrospect we feel that it was a mistake, 40 years ago, to have planted so many trees so close together.

Yours sincerely

Robert Zatz
Chairman, The Wavertree Society

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For further informatiion see our January 2013 and March 2013 Newsletter articles,
or download our leaflet 'The Future of Wavertree Village Green'

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