Walter Million - Borough Secretary

Bromley Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley BR1 3UH

Telephone: 0181-464 3333
Extension: 4355
Direct Line: 0181-3134355

FAX: 0181-290 0608
DX5727 Bromley

Your Reference:

Our Reference: BS/aml

14th October 1998

Mr. Philip Kolvin,
62 Whitely Road,
London, SE19 1JT


Dear Mr Kolvin,


In a number of letters you have queried the Council's intentions in relation to trees on the site which is proposed for development and which is currently occupied by illegal squatters. You have been told that the Council will do nothing in respect of trees on the site which is not lawful and in accordance with any statutory requirements. You have subsequently indicated that this assurance does not provide you with much comfort.

The purpose of this letter is to attempt to provide you with a greater degree of comfort - whilst still protecting the Council's position if a lage scale eviction of the illegal squatters has to take place - by giving you a more detailed statement about the Council's intentions in respect of trees on the site.

The Council's intentions have to be stated on the basis of two possible sequences of events, namely whether or not an eviction of the illegal squatters takes place. If such an eviction becomes unnecessary, whether because the illegal squatters leave of their own accord or for any other reason, then the Council has no intention of felling any trees on the site, other than:

• for the purpose of implementing any planning, permission which would, of course, include the planning permission the legality of which is currently being contested by the campaign if that legal challenge fails (no such action would be taken before detailed planning permission has been obtained); and

• for the purpose of dealing with any health and safety issues which might arise, for example the felling of any tree which at any time, because of its condition, might pose a danger to persons on the site;

• for the purpose of any general maintenance which might become necessary at any time;

If such an eviction does take place, then the Council has to reserve the right for itself, the police, the Under Sheriff and any other appropriate persons to take any lawful steps which may be needed to achieve the eviction, particularly any steps which become necessary on grounds of health and safety. We have discussed the matter with the Under Sheriff - it is likely that during the process of any barge scale eviction he will need to clear scrub; on present information he does not envisage the need to fell trees but the right to do so has to be reserved if this becomes necessary during the course of the eviction for reasons of health and safety or any other lawful reason.

You will see, therefore, that in advance of any implementation of any lawful planning permission, there is no risk to the trees an the site from the Council (other than in the limited and necessary circumstances I have mentioned above). Any risk that there is arises from the occupation of the site by the illegal squatters. For this reason - as well as for the other reasons I have mentioned to you in previous correspondence - the Council would ask the Campaign to help the Council to secure the peaceful evacuation of the site by the illegal squatters which would also save a great deal of Bromley residents' money which would be better spent on other things.

Yours sincerely

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