St Matthew’s Piece Trees – Safe?


An insurance claim at 193 Sturton Street (a new-build approx 25 year old property) blaming clay shrinkage subsidence on three, rare, mature, 125-year old trees, subject of Tree Protection Orders, resulted in a planning application for the felling of these trees.

Aerial image of St Matthew’s Piece showing, on the western edge, the three trees, subject of this planning application.
The three trees under threat

See earlier posts:


Hours ahead of the Cambridge City Council Planning Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday 2nd August 2023 at 10 am the item was removed from the agenda.

On Tuesday 1st Aug 2023, at 21:21 campaigners received an email in the name of the three city councillors for the Petersfield ward.

Thank you for your email expressing concern and objecting to the felling of these trees. The three of us, the city ward councillors for Petersfield, are very pleased to be able to tell you that the planning application seeking to have the trees felled is being taken off the agenda for the meeting of the Planning Committee tomorrow.

Working together with the Friends of St Matthew’s Pieces we were able to raise more and more technical and legal issues that had not been considered, at least not sufficiently. It became clear that the Committee would not have enough information to assess properly the application and it would have to be deferred pending consideration of the whole matter and especially the new information and questions being raised.

It should not be assumed that this is the end of the matter though. Unless the applicant withdraws the application it will come back to a further meeting of the Planning Committee. We will continue to work hard to get full recognition of the importance of the 3 trees and the importance of not setting a precedent which might endanger further trees.

Apologies that this is not an individual response to your email but there have been so many objectors and we want to give you the news as soon as possible. Thanks again for your contribution to the issue.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Cllr Richard Robertson and Cllr Mike Davey

An excellent report  By Alex Spencer, Cambridge Independent, updates us on the threat to the trees…

Cambridge protesters hope to stop felling of 125-year old trees at St Matthew’s Piece


Local residents have been fighting to protect and conserve local amenity and environmental assets via Friends of St Matthew’s Piece since 30thApril 2020 – and, before that, via Petersfield Area Community Trust, since 1998). Friends of St Matthew’s Piece stand on the shoulders of the giants who, 100 years earlier, in 1898 had established St Matthew’s Piece. This included planting the magnificent London Plane trees that provide all of us with such wonderful benefits today. Read more on the history of St Matthew’s Piece, on the St Matthew’s Piece Timeline 1890–2020.

If you would like to join Friends of St Matthew’s Piece or assist in any of the issues raised in this blogpost, kindly hosted by Mill Road Bridges, please email Friends of St Matthew’s Piece.

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