Sunday, 19 June 2016

University Campus Development and Trees

In the last few weeks, there have been concerns raised by residents about the felling of trees in Kelvingrove Park. An online petition has been set up to gather support for protection of the trees and this is available at:

Currently, there is a planning application from the University of Glasgow for the Mixed-use Campus Development of the former Western Infirmary site, on University Avenue. This plan includes proposals for trees and planting within the "Campus and Public Realm Strategy" and there is a tree survey which is seeking the removal of about 50 trees as part of the development.

Due to the level of public interest in the safeguarding of trees in Kelvingrove Park, I have drafted a objection letter which considers the impact of the campus development on existing trees. I am submitting the following letter to the Council's planning department. Please note, objections have to be submitted by 28th June 2016.

Views of trees along the River Kelvin, at the area 
opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.


Development and Regeneration Services
Glasgow City Council
231 George Street
G1 1RX
Dear Sir/Madam
Planning Application: 16/01208/DC
Address: Site At University Avenue Glasgow
Proposal: Mixed-use University campus development
Please note my objection to the principles in their current form, as set out in Campus & Public Realm Strategy of the Campus Development Framework (CPD) at 4.14 Trees and Planting which states, "In a number of instances, there are existing areas of the campus that would benefit from the management of its trees to improve the quality of environment at ground level and open up significant views, particularly across the Kelvingrove Park" and "The positioning of trees such that they enhance and frame views to significant building, but do not block them."
These principles must be amended in line with the current Park Management Plan for Kelvingrove Park which states that thinning of any groups of trees should be no greater than twenty percent. Furthermore, a principle should be included in the Campus and Public Realm Strategy 4.14 Trees and Planting, in line with the Ecological Impact Assessment, UoG-DOC-25-1, May 2016 at 6 Conclusion that: ‘where possible the removal of shrubs and trees should be avoided’.
Furthermore, I strongly object to the Tree Works Proposal in its current form, as outlined in the Tree Survey, UOG-DOC-30-1, May 2016 which outlines plans at 2.11 for selective tree felling and removal of c50 trees as a minimum. This must be amended in line with the current Park Management Plan for Kelvingrove Park which states that thinning of any groups of trees should be no greater than twenty percent.
This Campus Development Framework (CPD) proposal for Tree Felling is contrary to Policy DEV11 Greenspace as Kelvingrove Park and River Kelvin is a designated wildlife corridor. The proposed removal of trees will not enhance this area of wildlife corridor and its use as a wildlife habitat.
The priority of the Campus Development Framework (CPD) should be to protect and retain these trees to support the vision of a Green Campus and Sustainable Place. The protection of this parkland's existing trees, vistas, and riverbank, as part of a "green corridor" along the River Kelvin between Kelvingrove and the Botanic Gardens, should be adopted in principle within the Campus Strategy. In the development of the University of Glasgow as a world class institution, the preservation of the existing ecology of Kelvingrove Park is a vital feature of any plans and essential to the delivery of a Sustainability Strategy.
Yours sincerely.

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