Sunday, 9 November 2008

Questions on Bute Park Road project

Here is a copy of the letter containing a number of questions that remain unanswered that I sent to Pat Thompson who is the project lead for the Bute Park lorry road and bridge.

Dear Mr Thompson,

Thank you for meeting us last Monday.

We have obtained the Green Spaces & Parks Strategy and are giving it further consideration.

In the meantime could you supply details as discussed at our meeting:

Removal of trees early in Spring.
Apart from the diseased beech, you said another tree (or two) was taken down by the boundary fence, indicating the north end of gap. Was this from your own inspection or would you please supply a record of this tree or trees taken down by the Parks Dept?

Unmapped champion oaks

Have you checked the two major oaks to the NE of the Nursery missing from your chart? Does this not reflect on the reliability of the remaining mapping of trees

You promised to let us see the covenant(s) on Bute Park

Memorial trees and plaques:
what agreement was there by the Council and payments accepted for erecting these? And were the people involved notified by the Parks Dept. of the scheme?

Lorries in the Park at present
How many lorry movements through on average (50-100 per week in a press report) and how many of these are concerned with the Nursery plant business (of 700 000 plants per year)?
How many are large lorries – was the figure of 36 per year stated at Committee the number of artic lorries?

"Ensuring that all new developments or changes in the service are properly assessed for sustainability prior to implementation."
You said the basis for the scheme is in the Park & Green Space Strategy; can you provide a document showing how the balance of positives and negatives in that Strategy were assessed?

You mention improving site use and increasing income generation, but in the Strategy there are also eg.
11) To adapt operations to reduce their impact on the environment.
12) To adopt appropriate and innovative ways of working to respond to climate change and improve environmental quality in parks and green spaces.

Decision to allow the largest lorries in the Park

You accepted this is a decision for the Parks service and referred to the Park & Green Space Strategy, which requires you to maintain and improve environmental quality, and to conserve and improve local heritage assets. So doesn’t any past practice to allow occasional over 30-tonne and artic lorries need to be assessed on this Strategy?

Assessment following the Aboriculture report
As this shows that 43 trees will have to be lopped and raised roadways will have to be constructed, will you be reassessing the project under the Park & Green Space Strategy in the light of these significant impacts?

Safety of the Lorry Road design (4m wide, 36” high, grassed 1 in 5 slopes)
You accepted that lorries passing pedestrians, wheelchairs etc. on these roadways might be intimidating and problematic. How do you propose to address this problem – does it come under the Strategy’s “involve the public.. in partnership to manage parks and green spaces”?

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