A proposal to cut down a huge oak tree which is allegedly causing subsidence issues to a number of homes has been decided.

Despite a strong campaign from locals, Hertsmere Borough Council has agreed to pull down the tree in Ely Gardens, Borehamwood.

The decision was made by a council officer and the report was noted at the council's Executive committee meeting last week.

The report states that following independent investigations and insurance claims received by the council, it has been concluded the council-owned tree is felled, and replaced with four new trees on site.

Campaigners had protested against the plan and even held a rally back in November. A petition also gained 400 signatures.

Borehamwood Times:

The tree was decorated with messages of support

They argued that they had “failed to see any evidence” the tree needed to be chopped down.

Initially, it seemed two oak trees in Ely Gardens would be felled, but it seems it is only one that will be going.

In the final report, the council said in the last three years, it had been “seeking alternative solutions”, and the delay in cutting down the tree was due to the council “requesting further evidence” from Clarion Housing Association, which owns the homes affected by the subsidence.

The report adds that the evidence supplied to the council has “satisfactorily demonstrated” to the council’s arboculture officer that the tree is the “most likely cause of subsidence and the damage”.

The Times has requested to see this evidence.

Borehamwood Times:

Initially, it was thought both of the trees would go but only one is to be chopped down

Prominent campaigner Monika Siembida, who is devastated by the council’s decision, wanted to dedicate the oaks to the Queen Commonwealth Canopy Project – an initiative launched in 2015. The scheme is backed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

But the report states this plea is “irrelevant” because the Commonwealth project aims to create a network of forest conservation initiatives.

The report adds that ignoring professional advice “risks very significant costs through personal injury and subsidence claims for damages”.

It also pointed towards a huge non-council owned tree that fell in Furzehill Road during stormy weather in February. Fortunately, no one was injured.

It will cost £1,127 to remove the tree, £1,168 for replanting, and £99 per year for watering. The costs will be met from the annual tree maintenance budget.

It was agreed at the Executive meeting that the council should aim for "better communication and consultation with its residents as early as possible".

To see the final report, click here and then click on the 'Performance Report' PDF towards the bottom of that page.