Woodcock Lane/Warwick Road corner avenue of trees, Acocks Green. Not again? Yes, unfortunately, again.
The story is that the group of trees, pictured behind the fence, here, is, historically, the avenue of trees which led to Acocks Green House; the seventeenth century house owned by the Acock family, so, ultimately a place of great historic significance to all those who live in, and care about, Acocks Green. Acocks Green House was compulsorily purchased by Birmingham City Council in 1959 and three blocks of flats were built on the site This small avenue of trees was left as a single marker of the Acocks family land. It was an attractive oasis of greenery, known well to Acocks Green residents. There were bluebells under the trees around this time of the year. Local elderly residents, without their own gardens in the, sadly, aptly named Needwood House next door to the trees enjoyed overlooking the small wood, and reguarly walked in it.
In 2006 it came to light that the Council had sold the small wood to the house alongside. Almost no-one knew about this, until too late. Required legal niceties, for making a public announcement of intention to sell Council land, were covered by a single, small, advertisement appearing at the back of The Birmingham Post; needless to say, no-one saw this. Tree preservation orders were placed on the trees, when Acocks Green people raised the alarm, but no-one was able to do any more. Acocks Green residents generally, but residents of Needwood House in particular, were incensed. The sale duly went through, and a large fence appeared in front of the, previously, common land, with all the trees now behind it. That was that.
The picture above was taken from over the road, and holding the camera up. The view seen by local people now is, a lot of the time, more like this one:
There is now one more of a series of plans which have, since the sale, been put forward, involving the trees:
When Acocks Green Focus Group members inspected yesterday it looked as though quite a lot of the trees were being prepared for ‘something’ : a number of branches had clearly been recently removed from a number of trees. A two storied building is to be built on part of this site.
The official deadline for comments is 13 May folks (Though they will probably be accepted until a few days later.) Need we say more?
Apparently yes: we have now had a report of holes dug in the ground which may have already disturbed tree roots.
Important update: We have now managed to have a discussion with the relevant tree officer, Rick Wood. Mr Wood has visited the site. He confirms that the application does not involve the removal of any more trees, but the oak tree referred to in the application is to be pruned rather than removed. That, is a relief to know. Permission was given to prune the higher branches. Barriers are
to be put into the ground to protect the roots of the trees. Soil recently left around the roots, which could cause damage has, hopefully, been removed. (We await confirmation) However, this leaves the issue of a two storied building being built on the land, and aesthetic questions around this. We will be looking into this further.