The Queens Square regeneration proposals include only six trees.
Even if these can be planted at the same size as those being removed, the initial percentage cover will be less than 10 per cent.
Whilst there is no formalised standard for tree canopy cover, 10 per cent is not enough. A greater proportion of summer shade from the outset will be important for the well-being of people using the re-vamped Queens Square.
Crawley’s middle aged and elderly shopping population simply don’t have the time to wait for trees to attain mature canopy to find somewhere to sit out of full summer sun.
There is no evidence of an in-built strategy for Queens Square that meets both short to medium term tree cover requirements as well as the long term tree legacy for future generations.
Details of tree species diversity, sizes, structural soils, air and water supply through the wider paved areas, growth assumptions, and management implications should all be available for committee consideration, as indicative of the details to be guaranteed and monitored through Planning Conditions.
I would urge the council to seek increased levels of tree cover for all the reasons associated with sustainability, climate change, micro-climate, human health and well-being.
John Cooban CMLI M.Arbor.A, Three Bridges
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