Jessica Jones from Wornington Trees presents the Petition to Plant an Urban Forest at the Environment and Select Committee meeting, 28 September 2021
THE ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE RESPONSE
28 SEPTEMBER 2021
DIRECTOR OF PLANNING AND PLACE WORNINGTON GREEN PRAYER RESPONSE – URBAN FOREST
- Tree Planting in Golborne ward and the creation of an urban forest.
- Our Council Plan sets out the Council’s commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030. It points to our Green Plan to tackle the climate crisis with £10m of funding over 10 years. It also identifies climate change as a theme of the Council’s recovery effort from the current unprecedented health and economic crisis. We have committed to play a leading role in addressing climate change, improving air quality, reducing our waste and increasing recycling. Tree planting is acknowledged as a positive contributor to addressing climate change and improving air quality. Trees also reduce flooding, temper climate, conserve energy, create habitat for plants and animals, improve health, reduce noise pollution and can serve as screens.
- Given residents’ significant concerns regarding the loss of trees on the estate, officers have been exploring the possibility of additional tree planting in Golborne ward. Officers have met with residents to discuss what could possibly be achieved and through an initial survey have identified 100 possible locations.
- It is unlikely that all of these locations will be viable because of various constraints including underground services and vaults. The subsoils in North Kensington are largely formed of highly shrinkable clay soils so we will need to take care in choosing the right species. Where it is possible to plant new trees in these locations, we will do so and will continue to work with residents to increase the amount of tree planting in the area noting the value such planting will have on the amenity of the area and health and wellbeing of our residents.
- If residents believe there are other locations which could support additional tree planting, we will welcome further discussions so we can consider these in more detail.
- Given the planting numbers being considered, the works would need to be funded from outside the current arboricultural maintenance budget. There are several possible options including NCIL bids, Carbon Offset Fund, and the Green Fund. We can also consider using financial contributions secured through Section 106 agreements. It is not confirmed that funds could be drawn from these sources, but they will be explored.