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Resident’s anger after 40-year-old tree in Bromley-by-Bow is axed to make way for ONE parking space

PUBLISHED: 18:14 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:14 09 August 2018

Melanie Lesieur had called for a tree not to be chopped down to make way for a single car parking space.

Melanie Lesieur had called for a tree not to be chopped down to make way for a single car parking space.

Archant

A woman’s pleas to save a 40-year-old tree from the axe to make way for a single parking space have been ignored.

'It's very frustrating because it's just one space,' Ms Lesieur said. Pic: KEN MEARS'It's very frustrating because it's just one space,' Ms Lesieur said. Pic: KEN MEARS

Melanie Lesieur discovered on Saturday that the tree growing in the grounds of her flat in Corbin House, Bromley-by-Bow, was to be cut down on Wednesday.

“The tree allows people to breathe. It’s a home to wildlife. It protects flats from the heat. You can’t just take it down for one [parking] space. It’s crucial,” Ms Lesieur said the day before the tree was cut down on Wednesday.

She added it felt very painful seeing the tree’s remains when she came home from work.

The threat pitted the budding green campaigner against members of the residents’ parking committee who she accused of voting behind closed doors to remove it. She appealed to the panel’s chairman before Wednesday but her objections fell on deaf ears.

“It’s very frustrating because it was just one space,” she said.

But the committee argued birds were fouling on cars parked under it and there was a demand for more parking with a waiting list Ms Lesieur appears on.

She said she would rather have waited than see it cut down.

Ms Lesieur – who works in the hospitality industry – presented an alternative to straighten parking space boundaries which she calculated would make room for an extra bay. But the 27-year-old was told there wasn’t the space to do it.

The housing cooperative resident questioned how collaborative the decision was with the estimated 10 member committee taking a decision that Ms Lesieur estimated would affect about 100 households at the block in Bromley High Street.

Asked if it really mattered, Ms Lesieur said: “If everyone thought that then there would be no trees left. I get that not everyone is as concerned by the matter and might not have an environmental conscience, but we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for trees.”

She argued it was difficult to change people’s minds about the value of trees before calling on the cooperative to plant a replacement.

The cooperative did not respond to the Advertiser’s requests for comment.

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