Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Just heard the news that Sue is out of surgery and the operation went well, so that is just fantastic! I am seeing my doctor tomorrow to hopefully speed up my own visit to hospital. From current experience I would say, if you are going to get cancer, get it in the South of England, not the North!

So back to 'The Tree'. I have copied below an E Mail that I have sent to all Councillors who sit on our local planning committee and it gives you all the up to date news on the ongoing battle.

Dear Councillors,
                                    I have some information that I think you should all know before the next Planning Committee Meeting, with regard to the proposed felling of the tree outside Voreda House, on Meeting House Lane.

As you may remember, at the last meeting, the gentleman from planning, told the committee that the tree planter was attached to the building and he showed a drawing to verify this.
I know that I was not allowed to say any more once I had made my appeal, but I had to shout out because this was not true. The Chairman sent a chap up the road to have a look and when he came back, he said that there was no gap!
I was stunned at that stage because I had walked down this clear pathway between the building and the tree planter just a few days before. Now I can tell you, with some information gained from the builders, what really happened, and how the builders (with or without the knowledge of the NHS) tried to fool the Planning Committee, using advice from our own Planning Department!

Originally, a request was made to fell the tree on the grounds that it had ‘outgrown its location’. The Council Tree Officer supported this, but in reality, there was and is no sign whatsoever of any damage anywhere near the tree to support this. The tree is also in perfect health.
Knowing that this might not be enough to have the tree removed, they noticed that there was damp to the building, and if they could prove that the tree caused this damp, then it would have to come down.
However, because there was a clear walkway between the tree planter and the building, the damp could not be being caused by the tree.
That was until they came up with their, “brilliant idea!”
What if they could show, at the planning committee meeting that the tree planter was actually attached to the building, and show this on the plans?
Was this possible?
This is how they went about deceiving the Planning Committee.

They filled in the walkway between the tree planter and the building, just days before the meeting, with an estimated 20 tons of rubble, to a height of about 4 feet. They then altered the original drawings submitted at the time of the planning application to show a solid line, which now said, with a stroke of a pencil, that the tree planter was part of the building. A complete fabrication, which nearly worked, had I not broken the rules at the meeting and made my voice heard.

I was so grateful for all your support at the last meeting and for casting your vote in favour of keeping our tree safe. We love that tree and would really like it to stay.  If I do not get a chance to speak at the next meeting, please do not be hoodwinked by any more tricks from these people.
The damp around that building and around the whole area, including local houses, was caused by a water burst in an underground pipe. The leak was there for possibly over a year and was only discovered when local cellars started to flood. It was fixed just days before the builders moved into Voreda House, and will take months to dry out. Our tree is not the cause of the damp.  As one councillor aptly put it, “it helps to hide the most unsightly building in Penrith!”

Caught in their act of deceit, the builders are now removing the 20 tons of rubble by hand, and hopefully will not damage the tree planter whilst doing so. They have also stopped using the tree as a support post for their security fencing.

As for the Planning Department, they did not reply to my last E Mail! 

Thank you for your continued support

Daniel Sencier and the residents of Wordsworth Terrace.

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