The Nido development & environmental vandalism


After the felling of six 100 year old heritage trees on
Pentonville Road by developers last Sunday there has been
a local outcry.

An article has appeared in the Islington Tribune with Councillor Paul Convey expressing residents anger at this blatant act of environmental vandalism and thoughtless profiteering by The Blackstone Group, the developers behind the Nido site.

There is still much confusion amongst residents and the Planning Dept alike as to whether Nido does or does not have permission to destroy Kings Cross’ green heritage and if so, who gave it. I myself have specifically asked Graham Loveland and Kevin O’Leary of Islington planning if these trees had a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on them and have had nothing but silence in return. They most certainly should have done, and a possible failure in this may be why I’m getting no response so far.

The developers have also posted a small laminated notice outside the site to say the trees will be replaced when the development is finished. This is frankly laughable. It is impossible for them to replace like with like. You simply can’t put 100yr old trees into the ground even if you could buy them from a nursery! We have also all seen how few young trees survive in this area and to have an existing avenue of Victorian trees gracing Pentonville Rd was extremely fortunate and IRREPLACEABLE. Offering such pitiable replacements is insulting.

Have a look at the flannel about Nido online – you will notice our mature trees are present in the finished artists impression. The irony is painful.

Action Point:
If we allow this issue to fade into the background Islington Council will yet again get away with destroying our green heritage and allowing the character of the area to be altered for the worse by developers who care nothing for the needs of local residents. It sends completely the wrong signal and will only happen again if strong opposition is not raised by local residents.

Please take a few moments to keep applying pressure to key players in this issue.

Please write to and email:
Graham Loveland
Assistant Director (Planning)
Planning Division
Environment and Regeneration Department
Islington Council
020 7527 2680

Lib Dem Councillor Ruth Polling (quoted in the Tribune article)
020 7527 3051 (PA)
She allegedly
Provides political and strategic direction of sport, leisure, greenspace, cemeteries, arts, libraries equalities and community cohesion within the borough.’

And our local MP:
Emily Thronberry
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
020 7219 3000 (House of Commons Switchboard – ask for your Member’s Office)

Letters are usually the best form of contact as they are kept on file and have to be answered!

And there’s also a very chatty looking Nido London site who have kindly listed a contact. Might be interesting to get in touch with them!

Nido London, 200 Pentonville Road, Islington, London, N1 9JS
        Tel: +44 (0) 207 395 7260


About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in Architecture. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Nido development & environmental vandalism

  1. the Nido website is hilarious – well worth a look

  2. Paul Convery says:

    I have now written to Kevin O’Leary:

    Dear Kevin,

    I think you need to address this matter personally as it reflects rather serious confusion about different roles performed within your Department (Greenspace, Planning, Highways).

    Six mature Plane trees have been felled by the developers of “Nido” the former Natwest Tower blocks at 200 Pentonville Road. Last week, Andrew Marx assured me there would be a statement for Members available on Friday that would establish the position, but I have not received anything yet.

    In the current issue of Islington Tribune, Cllr Polling is quoted as saying that: “a condition of their planning application is that they replace the lost trees.” However, despite an 18 month construction programme now completing, these trees were only “lost” when tree surgeons removed them a week ago. By site notice, the developers claim there is a S278 agreement to “remove and replace” these trees and say that this agreement is jointly made with Camden, Islington and TfL.

    The facts that I wish to know are as follows:

    a) did Tree Preservation Orders exist on these trees?
    b) was any permission given to the developers to remove these trees?
    c) if so, was this formulated alongside a condition attached to the planning permission (case P012730) and was a specific authority given to remove the trees?
    d) if not, when was any specific permission given to remove these trees?

    The reason I ask is that neither Cllr Polling’s explanation nor the developer’s claim that a S278 agreement exists give authority to remove a protected tree. A condition attached to a planning permission or the terms of a S278 agreement require the developer to do something. Neither of these mechanisms permit a developer to perform an act which otherwise requires a specific permission (namely, to lift a TPO and fell a tree).

    Overall, I am amazed that anyone thinks it is possible to “replace” trees that are almost a century old and I cannot understand why anyone should want to fell perfectly healthy mature trees. Even stranger is the fact that all six trees have been retained throughout a massive construction project and have only been felled at the last moment.

    However, the key question remains. How can a developer fell trees without specific authority?

  3. resident says:

    I would be very interested in hearing his reply. It seems they have now started making several large holes in the pavement. Future homes for trees?
    We can only hope.

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