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Campaigners backed by Dame Judi Dench win court fight to save old tree



ampaigners backed by Dame Judi Dench have received a excessive court fight to forestall the removing of the East End’s oldest tree.

Developers needed to uproot the 400-year-old Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree, which survived being bombed within the Blitz, to construct flats on the location of the previous London Chest Hospital.

Tower Hamlets council granted permission for nearly 300 houses on the location subsequent to Victoria Park and developer Crest Nicholson mentioned the tree could be picked up by the basis base and “replanted it in its entirety” elsewhere.

But campaigners argued this may kill the tree and the East End Preservation Society’s Geoffrey Juden led a authorized problem towards the native authority to cease the event.

The Mulberry Tree was bombed to a stump through the Blitz however survived

/ Roya l London Hospital Archives

On Friday High Court choose Sir Duncan Ouseley mentioned the council’s planning committee had “misinterpreted” planning coverage when it thought-about whether or not the tree would die if it was moved and the “materials consideration was ignored”.

An East End Society spokesman mentioned: “Crest Nicholson’s overblown growth would have blighted the Victoria Park Conservation Area in East London for generations to come.

“It demolished a listed constructing, eliminated numerous mature bushes and delivered far too few inexpensive houses.

“The Bethnal Mulberry is the oldest tree within the East End, surviving plague, fireplace and blitz.

“We hope it’ll flourish for hundreds of years to come to encourage us all.”


The society additionally thanked Dame Judi who acted as a patron of its marketing campaign and mentioned the concept of digging up the tree “stuffed her with horror”.

A Crest Nicholson spokesman mentioned: “We are shocked and disenchanted by the ruling handed down from the judicial overview relating to the redevelopment of the previous London Chest Hospital.

We stay totally dedicated to the event and we can be reviewing the judgement. 

Tower Hamlets Council added: “We acknowledge the excessive court determination to quash our authentic approval for planning and listed constructing consent for a growth of 291 new houses, of which 35 p.c had been inexpensive, on the London Chest Hospital website.”