Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Started today nursing a mild hangover after Paul's visit but brushed that off with a bacon butty each before he hit the road back to Carlisle. Had a walk around town, meeting Laura trying to resist all in Dorothy Perkins. A long chat with Lucienne about expensive photographic equipment and the impending visit from Maria and Sofia. No post so no appointment date yet, and the day seemed like it was going to drift past, until.....

Remember that tree? Well the planning officer sent me an E Mail, just to let me know that I had now lost my opportunity to speak to the planning committee because he had not heard from me since he last wrote to me. Hang on, he hadn't written to me! I E Mailed him back, I won't bore you with the content but it was to deliver a metaphorical punch. It worked, he rang me within 10 minutes and I was sat in his office with him 30 minutes after that. He asked me who I was representing; I replied, 'the tree', I thought it might be a trick question. He said that the Council's Tree Officer (CTO) had recommended the felling of the tree because, 'it had grown beyond what was considered appropriate for it's location'. Imagine that! I said that I disagreed, and that there was no physical evidence at the site to prove this. He pointed out that the CTO was a professional man of outstanding integrity. I replied that so was Tony Blair, but it hadn't stopped him from murdering 30,000 innocent civilians during the initial bombing of Baghdad! Probably went off the subject slightly but had to make my point. All ended well when he agreed to let me speak in front of the Planning Committee on 17th August. I will get 5 minutes to put my case and reminded by the Chairperson at 4 minutes and 30 seconds that I have 30 seconds to go. The committee is made up of lay people who are highly respected members of the community (Mason's Lodge comes to mind). I can not address them directly but can speak to them through the Chair. At the end of my 5 minutes I can not speak again for any reason, but the people who want to chop the tree down can respond to what I have said. At this stage I was impressed that I wasn't being blindfolded and turned 10 times through 360 degrees to disorientate me! A decision will then be made in secret by the committee and if history follows the same pattern, the tree will be chopped down a few weeks later. 97.5% objections are supported by the so called 'Independent Panel'. The people who want to fell the tree have promised to plant another in it's place that will not grow as big. That's OK then!


  1. hard to speak through a chair. Get all your tree growth facts together Daniel, and then if it fails, make like eminem with the chair.......

  2. Ha ha love it...might just chain myself to the tree!