Happy Man Tree Supporters deliver petition and papier-mache axe to Hackney Mayor
PUBLISHED: 15:10 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:10 24 June 2020
A group of residents are delivering a petition to the Mayor of Hackney signed by 22,000 people in support of a London Plane tree now known as The Happy Man Tree in Woodberry Down.
The petition will be delivered to The Mayor of Hackney, Phillip Glanville next to where the tree stands near the Happy Man pub in Woodberry Down estate in North London on June 24.
Supporters will also be presenting the Mayor with a papier-mache axe and plan to ask him if he is prepared to strike the first blow if plans go ahead to chop the ancient tree down.
A spokesperson from the group campaigning to save the Happy Man Tree said: “We implore Hackney Council and Berkeley Homes to halt all plans to fell the tree and instead enter into a dialogue with WDCO (Woodberry Down Community Organisation) and others to see how this conflict can be resolved.”
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The council recently applied to the High Court for an injunction and possession order on June 26 to remove protesters ‘occupying’ the tree near the Happy Man pub.
A Hackney Council spokesperson said: “This is a last resort, following months of consultation and meetings with local residents, and the plans being approved by the council’s Planning Committee in April.”
The council says the possession order and injunction will mean it and Berkeley Homes can continue building almost 600 “desperately needed, genuinely affordable homes for local people” at the Woodberry Down Estate regeneration.
The Happy Man Tree supporters started the petition in April when Hackney Council granted planning permission for the tree to be cut down.
“We feel the escalation of the conflict via the court case is unnecessary because conversation could be had, and we believe there is much about the tree that unites us rather than divides us,” said the spokesperson for the Happy Man Tree supporters.
The group argue viable alternatives to destroying the tree have not been “properly considered” and are in the process of challenging the planning decision.
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