Edgar Street residents are revolting

As he drives in state from his Broomy Hill eerie to Hereford United’s ground Captain Sensible, aka the member for Hereford & South Herefordshire, must surely have admired the graceful canopies of the 14 European Lime trees, planted in line astern down the central reservation at the top of Edgar Street. And as he settles into his reserved VIP seat (pre-warmed by Tory chairman Bill Jackson), Jesse Norman might reflect on the fact that by the end of the football season these 50-year-old trees will probably be gone.

Last month, the residents of the 28 houses and flats which run down the west side of Edgar Street woke up to find notices from Herefordshire Council’s Places & Communities Directorate on their doormats. It advised them of plans “to fell and remove 14 European Lime trees in order to facilitate A49 road improvements”.  ‘Facilitate road improvements’ being developer-speak for creating a generous entrance for cars/goods deliveries into the Edgar Street Grid’s new Waitrose/John Lewis complex. Nobody can recall this radical road reordering being in the plans which accompanied the original ESG planning application.

When the 21-day consultation period ended on 8 February, 92 letters of objection had been sent in; so many, in fact, that the council official who should be processing them is now on “long-term sick leave”. A public consultation meeting at the Newmarket was abandoned due to lack of support (mysteriously, the letters of notification to Edgar Street residents never got delivered).

Although facing a conservation area (they would screen the views of the Grid’s huge Debenhams store), the Limes aren’t yet protected: the council still has five weeks to issue a tree preservation order to save them. But will it fly in the face of commercial expediency and the prospect of upsetting its development partners – the formidable British Land/McAlpine/Stanhope triumvirate? It certainly showed little resistance when the begging bowl for that £500k came round last October.

In the residents’ camp is ward councillor Liz Chave and the Greens’ Felicity Norman, co-chair of the Hereford Tree Forum which is currently campaigning for more trees to be planted in city streets. Hereford Civic Society, which got a bloody nose for objecting to the bronze bull, is sitting on the fence.

Opposition comes in the form of ‘Brother’ Bretherton, Hereford Futures’ rotund CEO (who certainly can’t afford to offend his two blue chip tenants) and council leader John Jarvis’s enforcer Graham Powell (cabinet member for bikes, bus route closures and pot holes). As yet, no word from Captain Sensible.


10 thoughts on “Edgar Street residents are revolting

  1. Flying against everything that modern cities are trying to achieve a canopy of trees
    Look at Melbourne and why it’s voted the most liveable city in the world
    It makes you laugh it makes you cry
    Just what i expect from upstart council officials with their parish council church fete feckless faceless mentality
    If we ever find out whats gone on behind closed doors and under desks
    Will make some good reading

  2. Absolutely disgraceful to even contemplate such an act of vandalism. This once beautiful city has been all but destroyed by successive councils – for God’s sake don’t let them destroy these lovely trees.

  3. Although a very enlightening article – much appreciated by the interested parties,- one wrong bit…. the “west side” residents did not in fact wake up to any letters informing them of the proposed tree destruction. After some searching the only visible notification was a laminated A4 size note attached to the redundant pedestrian crossing light standard – pointing towards the road, not the pavement!!!

  4. Friday 1 March is the absolute deadline for Herefordshire Council to issue Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) in order to protect the 14 Lime trees and prevent this act of municipal vandalism.

    Those Hecklers who feel sufficiently enraged should e-mail their requests for the TPOs to be issued asap to: jround@herefordshire.gov.uk

  5. Looks like lots of Hecklers have responded to the invitation to register objections to this piece of municipal vandalism.

    On Friday afternoon, the number was 172 – a 90% increase in one week!

  6. I am heart broken at the thought of the 14 lime trees being removed from Edgar St. What a terrible disgrace
    These people need to concertrate time and energy in cleaning up this beautiful City and making it a safe place for people to walk especially at night , at the monent It is nothing but a filthy run down place where no one wants to visit

  7. I’m saddened.. very much. The trees are the same age as me, bought by my mother (she who was materials buyer for the ring road/edgar st project) and planted 6 months after I was born.. Don’t let them cut down my trees!!

  8. My wife and I happened to drive through Hereford today and we are horrified to see that the Lime trees in edgar st. are to be felled! In our opinion an act of extreme vandalism. Please reconsider! So many of our trees are under threat from disease lets not let the human race add to the destruction.

  9. I am horrifed that this act of vandalism can even be considered by councillors who are supposed to represent us-who are they representing?Not the residents!

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