Agenda item

Update on the Works at Stanhope Road Bridge


The Panel received a presentation which provided an update on the works to Stanhope Bridge along with further updates on other tree related issues in the borough. The presentation was introduced by Simon Farrow, Head of Parks and Leisure, as set out in the agenda pack at pages 27-41. Mark Stevens, AD Direct Services and Alex Fraser, Tree & Nature Conservation Manager were also present for this agenda item.  The following arose during the discussion of this agenda item:

  1. The Panel noted that there were twelve bridges on Parkland Walk, ten of which were managed by Haringey and the other two were managed by Islington. Of the ten bridges managed by Haringey, seven were the responsibility of Parks and three were managed by Highways. £11.6 m funding had been secured over five years for works to the bridges. Stanhope Road Bridge was undergoing refurbishment due to sustained progressive failure of the bridge’s abutments. The design work for this project had been completed and Planning Permission received.
  2. Two small groups of trees had already been removed from the site and survey work had identified a further five trees that needed to be removed. Two of which had already been removed, leaving a remining three trees that required removal. Of the five trees, these were all on the east side of Stanhope Road. The Panel noted that the current abutments were wider than what was required for a footbridge and that the height of the bridge also had to be raised to 5.3 metres in order to meet current highways standards. The trees needed to be removed as part of the excavation work to the abutments which would involve adding between 0.5 and 1.25 metres of soil on to the root plate of the three trees, which would kill them eventually.
  3. In relation to heightening of the bridge, officers advised Members that this was not related to any attempt to increase the size of vehicles on that route. This was being done to meet current highways standards and prevent bridge strike. This would also future proof the route if TfL subsequently wanted to direct double decker busses under the bridge.
  4. The Panel sought assurances about what would be done to ensure that additional trees were not felled by mistake, as had happened previously. In response, officers advised that the trees had been clearly marked up and that Alex and his team would be closely supervising the tree felling. Officers also advised that they had agreed with the relevant Cabinet Member that a fresh tree survey would be undertaken for every tree within five metres of future bridge works and that ground penetrating radar would be used to accurately plot their root systems. Officers also assured the Panel that they would undertake a walkabout with stakeholders and concerned residents at each bridge site.
  5. In response to a question around alternative courses of action, officers set out that the fundamental problem was that the bridges had deteriorated due to the proximity of trees and so interventions were required to protect the future of Parkland Walk in the long term. Officers provided reassurances to the Panel that the works would be carried out in conjunction with the development of a new conservation plan for Parkland Walk.
  6. Officers commented that sycamore was the most prominent tree on Parkland Walk and that they suffered from a disease which caused die back. It was hoped that by managing those affected sycamore trees effectively, this would open up space for self-seeding native trees.
  7. The Chair suggested that, given this was third bridge of seven, the Council needed to look at its comms around tree felling on Parkland Walk as the concerns from residents would continue. It was suggested that the Council should get ahead of any negative communications by erecting large notice boards at the site of any trees being felled at Parkland Walk. It was commented that Parkland Walk was a high footfall area and that a simple notice board setting out the reasons the tree was being felled would counter a lot of negative communications. In response, officers advised that they had started the process of getting messaging out through the Council’s Communication team and that they would look into putting notices boards on site. The AD Direct Services also agreed to look at publishing the presentation on the website. (Action: Mark Stevens).
  8. The Panel noted the comments of one of the Panel Members that one of the key reasons the works were given Planning Permission was that theywould make Parkland Walk more accessible to wheelchair users.






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