I am lucky enough to live in a road lined with large trees. On both sides of road, there are trees in the front gardens. There is one in mine.
However, these trees are not an unalloyed good. They block the light into people's houses, as well as potentially undermining foundations.
But in the conservation area that I live in, you need planning permission to substantially alter trees.
Petty this may sound, but when one of my neighbours cut all the branches from a tree near my house it was clear why trees are seen as part of the area's character.
Curiously, after the tree was cut, a planning permission noticed appeared on the tree, backdated, informing that any attempt to alter the tree was against the law.
This made me – for the first time – investigate how you would find out about local planning decisions, and how you could try to object to them.
Pleasantly, I was able to find them on my local council's website, and I can even do a search using my road name.
Now, I see that local councillor Sue Luxton wants to deny planning permission for an advertising hoarding on Brockley Road. I have – for the first time – written an objection to the council (by email, nice and easy), and sent Sue an email asking if she has any tips for a successful objection letter.
I'll be interested to read her response.