Monday, July 30, 2012

Update on Moseley Meteor Ford site and proposed Tesco's

Update on Moseley Meteor Ford site and proposed Tesco's

Councillor Ernie Hendricks attended a meeting with Tesco’s at Moseley Community Development Trust offices (rear of Moseley Post Office) on 26th July. The meeting was organised to discuss the future of the mature chestnut tree on the Meteor Ford site at the corner of Oxford Road and St Marys Row, Moseley.

A summary of the meeting can be seen below. As you will see, it looks as if the future of the tree is doomed, unless an engineering solution can be found to retaining it.

Also, it looks as if the development of the Tesco’s is on hold until an agreement can be reached with Wake Green surgery to move onto the site. With the disbanding of the Primary Care Trust’s (PCT) it is now entirely up to the surgery  9 (and not the PCT) if they want to move onto the site. I do know from my meetings with the PCT and the surgery over 4 years ago, the surgery were really more interested in extending their present building, than moving across the road.

Until an agreement can be reached between Tesco’s and Wake Green surgery, then the chestnut tree will have a stay of execution.

SUMMARY of meeting held on 26 July 2012

Groups represented

·         Local Ward Councillors
·         Birmingham City Council – Planning department
·         Tesco
·         Aspect Arboriculture
·         The Moseley Society
·         SusMo,
·         Moseley Forum
·         Independent Arboriculturalist
·         Moseley Community Development Trust

1.       The main suggestions made by Councillors and representatives of local organisations have been investigated by Tesco and their advisors. However the boreholes have to be drilled vertically, rather than at an angle as suggested, in order to assess levels of pollution on site. The petrol tanks could be filled with concrete – but to build over them a raft would have to be constructed above the tanks. Piles would have to be driven in to support the raft and the supporting piles would damage the tree roots. In addition, the removal of the current hard surfacing over the tree roots is likely to unbalance the tree, which is already leaning out towards the road.
2.       The conclusion is that the tree is not going to survive these works. Part of the canopy is now affected by a leaf-mining caterpillar but that is a temporary problem. However the works on site will mean that the tree cannot survive in the long-term.
3.       However the tree will be left as long as possible.
4.       Any further reasonable ideas about how the tree might be saved will be considered by Tesco, but would have to be balanced against the need to remove pollution from the site and the fact that horse chestnut trees are prone to disease and so there is a limit to the amount it is worth spending to protect the tree.
5.       The remediation works, which include removal of the petrol tanks, are necessary as part of the conditions covering the planning permission granted for the site.
6.       Demolition will not be begun until an agreement has been reached between Tesco and the medical centre.
7.       Tesco is keen to agree details of landscaping on site with Moseley in Bloom and other local groups, and also willing to plant trees on other local sites to compensate for the loss of the horse chestnut tree.
8.       Tesco has agreed to further meetings to keep the situation under review and to discuss other matters about the site.


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