EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband is battling with his neighbours to cut down ‘beautiful’ tree in garden of his £3.5m Primrose Hill mansion
- EXCLUSIVE: David Miliband wants to fell Acer tree at five-storey London home
- He claims it damages foundations of his home but neighbours have objected
Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband is embroiled in a row with his neighbours over plans to chop down a ‘beautiful tree’ in the garden of his £3.5m London mansion.
The 58-year-old wants to fell a large Acer tree at his five-storey home in the celebrity enclave of Primrose Hill in North London.
But neighbours who back on to his property have objected to the tree work with one claiming it was vital to keep as the large tree was helping in the fight against climate change.
Others have complained felling the tree to ground level will mean a loss of privacy as it acts as a shield between homes that back on to each other.
Mr Miliband, who lost out to his brother Ed for the Labour leadership in 2010 and later moved to New York as the £500,000 a year Chief Executive of the International Rescue Committee, has submitted a planning application to his local Camden Council.
Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband (pictured) is embroiled in a row with his neighbours over plans to chop down a ‘beautiful tree’ in the garden of his £3.5m London mansion
The 58-year-old wants to fell a large Acer tree at his five-storey home in the celebrity enclave of Primrose Hill in North London
Because his home is in a conservation area he needs planning permission to cut down the tree.
The former MP has claimed the Acer tree roots have caused damage to the foundation of his home, once owned by his parents.
But half a dozen neighbours have written to the council to voice their objection to any planned work.
Wendy Levitt , whose home backs directly on to Mr Miliband’s said: ‘This tree, like the Mimose next door, are home to all sorts of birds and insects.
‘The substantially improve our air quality, provide a calm atmosphere free from pollution and traffic noise, create a cooling effect that helps combat global warming, and afford significant privacy to nearby residents by preventing overlooking.
‘It’s hard to imagine that trees can be got rid of so lightly, without any discussions among neighbours who share a rare resource between the two rows of Victorian terraced houses.
‘I would equally object to the felling of the Mimosa were that to be suggested, for the same reasons, in the interest of our own local environment.’
Another near neighbour Laura Rivkin wrote to the council and enclosed a photo showing the tree and two others in homes next door to Mr Miliband’s.
She said: I do object vociferously to the removal of the acer.’
Her neighbour Daniel Stillit wrote: ‘For all of our family the acer is much loved and provides an important and very beautiful green screen between our houses. It isn’t particularly large nor imposing. Please safeguard this tree for the benefit of our family, including two children who’ve grown up with it.
The former MP has claimed the Acer tree roots have caused damage to the foundation of his North London home (pictured), once owned by his parents
A report compiled by an Arboricultural Consultancy for the Miliband’s found that cracking in the house structure had been caused by the drying out of the clay soil in the garden caused by the tree roots.
While neighbours living opposite Mr Miliband’s property have complained those in the same street have yet to raise any objections.
This is the second dispute the politician has had with his wealthy neighbours in an area favoured by many actors, including Daniel Craig, Daisy Ridley and comedian Harry Enfield.
Soon after he relocated to New York in 2013 with his family neighbours complained about raucous parties being held by the property developer who had rented the house for £7,000 a month.
The Georgian style property was rented by Robert Soning, the son-in-law of Labour donor Sir David Garrard.
He admitted to staging parties, including one for his daughter, but said neighbours were on a ‘witch hunt’ and they were ‘too sensitive.’
Angry neighbours complained to the letting agent and also to Mr Miliband who made no comment.
Mr Miliband has been contacted for comment.
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