Fine for illegally felling tree - The Rugby Observer

Fine for illegally felling tree

Rugby Editorial 21st May, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

A ILLEGALLY felled tree cost a man over £1,700.

Stuart Mitchell, of Coventry Road in Cawston, appeared at Nuneaton Justice Centre on Monday charged with cutting down a mature cedar tree at his property which was subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

Planning officers at the borough council had raised concerns with Mr Mitchell’s planning consultants about how his plans to build a new house in his grounds could affect a pair of cedar trees at the property, which had both been protected since 2001.

In March, the council received a planning application from another firm of consultants working on behalf of Mitchell, and a planning officer met with him to discuss the plans.

During the meeting, the officer again raised concerns about the cedar trees – and was told one of the trees had been removed because it had been damaged during a recent storm, and he feared it could fall on to a nearby building which housed his swimming pool.

Under a TPO landowners must give the council at least five days’ notice before carrying out work.

At Monday’s hearing, the 35-year-old pleaded guilty to breaching the TPO, but told the court he was unaware the tree was protected.

He was fined £1,000, and ordered to pay £677 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

The tree, believed to be around 50 years old, has now been replaced, and the planning application has been withdrawn.

Sean Lawson, Rugby Borough Council’s head of environmental services, said: “The council is working hard to maintain and increase the amount of trees and woodland in the borough, and we have recently planted Diamond Wood and a number of small copses around the town.”

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