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Save the Cambridge Station Road Trees

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Cambridge Friends of the Earth has found out that as part of the CB development at the Cambridge Railway Station, an application has been made to remove the majority of the trees on the site including the trees on Station Road. We received confirmation of this from Sarah Dyer, Development Control Manager, at Cambridge City Council, on Tuesday in an email in which she stated: "As part of the CB1 development the majority of trees within the application site will be removed, these include the trees on the south side of Station Road and on the north side of Station Road to the west of Tenison Road. These trees are to be replaced as part of a comprehensive tree planting scheme which will result in many more trees in the Station Area in the future. The applicant's tree survey and tree planting proposals were scrutinised by the City Council's Aboricultural Officer and Members of Planning Committee were fully briefed on the subject both in the Committee Report and at their meeting. Planning conditions are to be imposed on the consent which will require the submission of a phased tree removal scheme and full details of tree planting." Ashwell, the site developer has plans to plant more trees on the site than those they want to remove. However, this policy re-planting is short-sighted and misses the fundamental point about why trees are a valuable part of our local landcape and our heritage. Trees provide a natural habitat for a wide variety of animals, birds and insects. RPS, the company who has drawn up the Ecology Statement for Ashwell describes the trees on Station Road as having "little intrinsic ecological value but where they are grouped, especially the lines of trees in Station Road, they may act as sheltered flight paths for bats and may be used by birds for nesting and roosting." All trees have inherent value beyond the use local wildlife might make of them. Trees are an important component of the natural landscape because of their prevention of erosion and the provision of a weather-sheltered ecosystem in and under their foliage. They play an important role in producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as well as moderating ground temperatures. Additionally their presence as elements in landscaping contributes to the way we feel about our built environment. They provide a symbolic link with the past especially when they have been living for longer than any of the current inhabitants, and evidence of the continuation of our community. We, the undersigned, call for Cambridge City Council to reject of the proposal to remove most or all of the trees on the development site of CB1 including Station Road, Cambridge. Further, we call on Cambridge City Council to ensure that disruption to the trees on this site is kept to an absolute minimum during the development of the CB1 project so that the health and growth of the trees is protected for the future.

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