Treehouse dwellers hope to halt motorway link road

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting construction of the M11 link road in north-east London have occupied this ancient tree that stands on its route, writes Nicholas Schoon. They argue that their treehouse is a dwelling and the Department of Transport has to go through eviction proceedings to remove them.

On Wednesday night they obtained a temporary High Court injunction restraining the department. Today the court will decide whether to make the injunction permanent. The protesters proudly flourished the legal document at security guards and bailiffs who arrived at the chestnut tree on George Green, Wanstead, yesterday morning.

At least two of them are in the tree at all times. Many are veterans of the long resistance at the Twyford Down M3 construction site. They have combined with local protesters to rejuvenate the long-running war against the 3.5- mile link road which connects the M11 to the Blackwall Tunnel.

They claim the tree is a dwelling because letters addressed to it have been delivered by the Post Office. And they say that even if they can be legally evicted, there will be mass resistance.

About 300 homes in the road's path have been or are due to be demolished.

(Photograph omitted)