Catalyst understands residents’ concerns and upset around the removal of 37 trees on the next phase of the Wornington Green estate regeneration, particularly at the moment when people are spending more time at home and access to local green space is more important than ever.
We care about our customers’ living environments and are committed to listening and responding to their concerns and ideas. At the same time we are committed to meeting our social purpose and delivering much needed new homes for local people. We will continue to consider this important balance and find solutions that allow us to build affordable homes for those that need them most.
Wherever possible we design buildings and streets around trees, as we have done in other parts of the Wornington Green estate. We are building 230 homes in this next phase, including 108 for social rent. Unfortunately, some trees need to be removed for the building work to progress and they need to be removed now in order for us to avoid bird nesting season.
We have acknowledged and responded to the concerns raised by members of the community and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea by increasing the number of trees we are retaining and the number of new trees we will plant as part of this phase and have committed to planting more semi-mature trees rather than saplings.
We’ve upped the number of trees we will plant from 55 to 69, with all trees in the public realm to be semi-mature London Plane trees and are also planting almost half an acre of grassland and wildflower green roofs in this next phase.
Two more trees will be retained and a further three will move to the park, Athlone Gardens.
The tree plan showing which trees would be preserved and which would be removed was agreed with the council in 2010 as part of the outline planning consent for the regeneration of Wornington Green.
What we’ve achieved so far, and what’s to come
The regeneration will see Catalyst deliver nearly 1,000 new homes with no loss of social housing, build new modern community facilities and will restore the original street pattern that was demolished when the Wornington Green estate was built in the 1960s. So far, we’ve built 413 new homes, 233 of which are for social rent.
As we said above, Phase 2B is the next phase of construction and will see us build a further 230 new homes, 108 of which will be for social rent. Plans for the third and final phase of the regeneration are currently in consultation, and we are looking again at how we can retain more trees and plant new ones.
The regeneration has also allowed us to generate nearly £1m – either directly through Catalyst or from partner organisations – in community development projects since 2011/12. We’ve been able to deliver a range of services such as jobs and training opportunities, afterschool clubs and funds for the Venture Centre.