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Preet Writes to Highways England on Loss of Trees in Quinton

Dear Victoria and Ian,

Thank you for clarifying what is now being planted in Quinton, backing on to the properties of Chichester and Clay Drive. Whilst it is concerning to hear that residents wanted more time to discuss and consider options, I do appreciate the limited timescale which allows for planting. I am pleased to see the mixed planting, particularly with trees which will reach greater heights and therefore start to screen some of the M5. However, can you please confirm that residents were warned of the final decision before action was taken? This is a crucial point given that little to no warning was given of the trees being removed in the first place.

In our last conversation, you said that air quality monitoring would take place as well as noise assessments. Can you please confirm whether this has yet happened, and could you please provide my office with a copy of any results? If it has not yet taken place, can I ask for the date it will occur and for this to be given greater expediency?

In terms of compensation, I have had several residents contacting me to tell me of the difficulties they are experiencing in trying to organise compensation. I understand some houses are more affected than others however, can we please have a conversation to understand what compensation will be offered and what criteria this is based on? Several residents have had their properties either devalued since the trees were felled or had house sales fall through. As a public-funded agency, it is important that the process compensation is as clear and transparent as possible.

When we spoke recently, you stated that an assessment would be undertaken regarding the acoustic fence. Has this been completed? I understand that in a letter to residents you stated that the cost would be £2-3 million and so would likely not go ahead. I find it concerning that this information was not relayed to me when we spoke. I have since enquired about acoustic fence costs. My estimates are between £300-£500,000. Can you please confirm costings on this? I would be happy to put you in contact with the companies I have spoken to so that this work can be completed as urgently as possible.

I appreciate that Highways England has many responsibilities however, my constituents are living next to this on a 24/7 basis, and I am concerned for their mental health. Therefore, can I please ask that this is looked at urgently.

Yours sincerely,

Preet Kaur Gill Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Edgbaston


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