St Ann’s Hospital Development: Tree Loss

Friends of St Ann’s Green Space (StAGS) are alarmed to discover from the tree survey that almost 50% of the trees on the development site will be lost if the current plan goes ahead.

They call on local residents to reject Catalyst Housing’s application for St Ann’s New Neighbourhood.

Deadline for comments on Haringey Council Planning website is Thursday 22 September. There are many objections already logged on this page.

Russell Miller, tree expert and co-author of “Trees of St Ann’s Hospital”, said:

“The scale of tree and canopy loss is extraordinarily high. A project that predicts an overall loss of canopy even after new planting should be unacceptable.”

St Ann’s Hospital site acts as the lungs and heart of our area because of its mature trees and extensive canopy cover. The loss of so many will lead to more summer heat and local air pollution. It would take around 20 years for new planting to start providing similar benefits.

“Given the climate emergency and record London temperatures in 2022, loss of canopy of this magnitude should lead to automatic rejection of the design. People are dying from excessive heat and air pollution.”

Conserving St Ann’s green spaces for the long term
Although this area of Haringey is known as an Area of Deficiency in access to nature (according to the Mayor’s London Plan 2021), St Ann’s woodland strip along the railway is a special Site of Local Importance to Nature (SINC). It’s home to the rich variety of wildlife using the line as a commuter corridor to travel into Tottenham from the Lee Valley. The planning application tree survey fails to acknowledge its importance.

 “The failure to correctly identify and quantify the loss of SINC woodland is a major flaw…”

“St Ann’s site is home to some of the rarest trees in Britain” is how Russell’s tree guide opens. StAGS would like to see these trees maintained for the Hospital, local community and the new residents of St Ann’s New Neighbourhood to enjoy.

“The trees at St Ann’s are much more diverse and unusual than typical urban planting. Whilst the Survey acknowledges this, it nevertheless proposes tree losses on a huge scale.”

What Catalyst Says

If the planning application is approved, the Catalyst redevelopment says it will include up to 995 new homes, of which it says 60% of which will be affordable.

The site will also provide community-led housing, new and enhanced green spaces, a shop and other commercial uses, including affordable workspaces, while restoring and repurposing several of the hospital’s historic buildings.   

Through the process of designing the proposals, we have focused on making the new neighbourhood sustainable and eco-friendly, with an emphasis on green spaces for residents. The existing Peace Garden at the heart of the site will be trebled in size to include new public realm areas, play space and further green space; and a network of new green spaces will be created around much-loved trees. 

The hybrid application contains detailed plans for 239 homes within the first phase at the north west of the site, with outline plans for an additional 756 homes over future phases. While the current masterplan is for 971 homes, the planning application is for up to 995 homes, as future phases are yet to be designed in detail. If the plans are approved, we plan to start work on the first phase of the development in Spring 2023.  

St Ann’s Hospital Development: Tree Loss