Campaigners are celebrating after Southwark Council’s plan to cut down two healthy oak trees was rejected by officers.
Officers also advised the council to put a provisional tree preservation order (TPO), which came into effect on January 19, in place for six months.
The trees in Sydenham Hill Wood in Dulwich, thought to be 155 and 115 years old, sit on either side of the western end of a footbridge on Cox’s Walk – the council said they must be felled so the bridge can be repaired.
Southwark set a date for the trees to be cut down in November as its two-year felling order was due to expire the following month.
But before the council could do so campaigners set up camp by the trees, guarding them day and night.
After the council was stopped from felling the trees, it applied for an interim injunction from the High Court, which would have made the campaigners’ protest illegal.
But Mrs Justice Cutts rejected the application on December 1.
After the council’s felling order expired in December, it submitted another in its place.
But after evaluating the application, which received 177 objections and three comments of support, officers told the council they did not recommend that the works take place.
The TPO notice, signed by the director of planning, states: “The council has made the order because the woodland makes a positive contribution to the local environment as assessed by a tree evaluation method for preservation orders (TEMPO) evaluation.
“The order took effect on a provisional basis on January 19, 2021.
“It will continue in force on this basis for a further 6 months or until the order is confirmed by the council, whichever first occurs.
“The council will consider whether the order should be confirmed, that is to say, whether it should take effect permanently.