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Remaining Greenwich trees saved – but development threat continues

By deliar
15th February 2024

A council order has saved trees, but anger about development of protected land continues.

Following an outcry at mass felling of mature trees at a sports ground in Greenwich, the Council has issued a preservation order to protect those remaining.

Furious residents contacted CPRE London when developers, who hope to build sports stadiums at Footscray Sports Ground in New Eltham, began wholesale destruction of its tree and hedge-lined borders in early February.

The felling took place well in advance of planning permission for any development on the site, which is protected as Metropolitan Open Land.

We wrote to both the developers, GB10, and the Council, pointing out there was no justification for this destruction, which included many mature trees.

In its response, Greenwich said a tree protection order (TPO) had been served on the remaining trees on site ‘that are worthy of an order’.

It added ‘The landowner has also been advised not to remove any more trees other than those already removed until a planning application has been submitted and decided one way or another. He has acknowledged this request.’

GB10 intends to build extensive sports pitches on the site, although no formal application has yet been submitted. CPRE London is also extremely concerned about this application to build on protected green space.

This site is Metropolitan Open Land, characterised by its permanence and openness, and which is has the strongest protection – protected from development.


We object strongly to the development proposals, which run counter to Local Plan and London Plan policy and, more importantly would mean the loss of protected green space.

While we are supportive of efforts made to improve provision for sports, we cannot support development where this reduces land available for outdoor, grass pitches.

CPRE Campaigns Manager Alice Roberts said the actions of GB10 had destroyed a valuable part of the area’s tree canopy, which was vital to combat the impact of climate change, as well as habitat for wildlife.

‘Through their cavalier actions, the developers have also undermined the local support they are likely to need if they want to achieve planning permission. Who would trust their word now?’

Help us protect green spaces across London Green space for all – CPRE London