christianbeccy

Trees Trees and more Trees....

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We've had a fantastic opportunity to purchase a building plot, it's part of a family property that we're subdividing. It's all informally agreed, but we're yet to formalise boundaries etc. It'll be approximately 60 metres by 27 metres, with a large access driveway, but with an agreement to only build one dwelling (which I'm fine with). The price reflects this and is still very viable.

 

It's currently overgrown but has a number of trees of varying ages, conditions and heights. I've always craved mature trees as we tore them all out when we renovated our current property, not taking into account the fact that they'll not regrow in our lifetime.

 

On the new plot, there are a lot of what I'll call non-important trees. Nobody will care what happens to them, or probably even ever know if they disappear. However, there are 4 trees that are significant to our planned development in terms of being right in the way. All are upwards of 80 feet and largely covered in Ivy. We're caught in a cache-22. There are no current TPO's, it's not in the Conservation area (just) and the trees we'd like to remove are being culled to help the nicer ones thrive.

 

We could cut the trees down now (or soon), but don't want to annoy the LPA. I understand neighbours could claim they like the trees resulting in retrospective TPO's? I see this as unlikely, but it's a risk. Also, the cost to remove is significant and we, of course, don't have planning approval, so it could be money wasted.

 

We filed a pre-planning application, in which the council asked for an Arboricultural Impact Assessment. I'm pretty sure this is to ensure best practise regarding the well-being of the retained trees, not to look to protect anything specifically. But if we instruct this assessment, the doomed trees will be on it and the LPA will be aware of them, might they choose to consider protecting them at this stage?

 

Ideally, I'd like to leave them until after planning, saves annoying anybody, but I see a risk that someone might prevent them from coming down. Conversely, I suppose there is a possibility that the neighbours might appreciate the piece of land being tidied up, as long as their privacy is respected (and it will be) I'd appreciate any thoughts or opinions on this.

 

 

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you can at least remove the ivy from the good trees now --will show you are caring about them when the man comes

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10 minutes ago, christianbeccy said:

[...]

but I see a risk that someone might prevent them from coming down.

[...]

 

Let me describe common local (Lancashire) practice ;

  • Tree has TPO
  • Developer cuts the tree down on Sunday morning and goes to church in time for Mass
  • Minor local eruptions - questions asked in paraliament (Parish Parliament that is)
  • Months go by: the house gets built
  • Developer pays the fine 
  • sets the cost off against tax

All's well that ends well, eh?

 

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Just now, scottishjohn said:

you can at least remove the ivy from the good trees now --will show you are caring about them when the man comes

 

Yes. Luckily the good trees aren't as badly Ivy-ridden. There's a Lime, which is in great condition. A Maple of some sort next to it and a pretty/unusual Mulberry Tree along with a couple of Pines which are all in fairly good condition and mostly free of Ivy. There is also a lovely Hornbeam, which looks stunning when viewed from the non-overgrown side and giving it space to 'breathe' will result in a lovely addition to our planned garden.

 

The absolute clincher is a pair of Pines, which have become completely engulfed in thick Ivy. There is no Pine foliage until the top 20% (max) of the trees overall height. These two probably stand in the only place we can carve a driveway. The other 2 that we've earmarked to go just present extra design challenge. They possibly don't de-rail the project altogether, but may stop us having the design flair/flexibility we'd like.

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The pines should go... ASAP !!

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Our plot was overgrown from 30 years of neglect.  Some large trees (mostly Willow) and lots and lots of small trees / saplings.

 

I didn't have the chance to do anything to the trees before initial planning as I didn't own the land then.  So all I could do was indicate on my outline planning application where the house would go and which trees would go and which would remain.

 

Plans were passed and no TPO's.  I have stuck to my work and the remaining trees are still there, though I have a very slow ongoing thinning plan to slowly harvest firewood as we need it and reduce some that are grown in very dense clumps.

 

If you actually want to put the house on top of where an 80ft tree once was, do not under estimate the work in felling it, then getting all the roots out, and then building on it with the impact it will have on foundation design.  I hat a 3 ton digger and that struggles to get the roots of some fairly small trees out of the ground. you will want something a lot bigger.

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2 minutes ago, christianbeccy said:

The absolute clincher is a pair of Pines

they are fire wood -no way they will get a TPO put on them --you can always replant -them in the plan -but if they die they die 

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4 minutes ago, AnonymousBosch said:

 

Let me describe common local (Lancashire) practice ;

  • Tree has TPO
  • Developer cuts the tree down on Sunday morning and goes to church in time for Mass
  • Minor local eruptions - questions asked in paraliament (Parish Parliament that is)
  • Months go by: the house gets built
  • Developer pays the fine 
  • sets the cost off against tax

All's well that ends well, eh?

 

Thanks for your input. Just one thing...

  • Developer pays the fine 
  • sets the cost off against tax

Could you please elaborate slightly on this one?

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easier to leave about4- 5ft of trunk then lever on that with the digger maybe  to pull roots out

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1 minute ago, ProDave said:

Our plot was overgrown from 30 years of neglect.  Some large trees (mostly Willow) and lots and lots of small trees / saplings.

 

I didn't have the chance to do anything to the trees before initial planning as I didn't own the land then.  So all I could do was indicate on my outline planning application where the house would go and which trees would go and which would remain.

 

Plans were passed and no TPO's.  I have stuck to my work and the remaining trees are still there, though I have a very slow ongoing thinning plan to slowly harvest firewood as we need it and reduce some that are grown in very dense clumps.

 

If you actually want to put the house on top of where an 80ft tree once was, do not under estimate the work in felling it, then getting all the roots out, and then building on it with the impact it will have on foundation design.  I hat a 3 ton digger and that struggles to get the roots of some fairly small trees out of the ground. you will want something a lot bigger.

 

Excellent, that's what I wanted to hear. In the main.

 

I did want to ask about the roots etc, but wanted to keep this thread more simple. What do you think it would take to remove the stump/roots of a Pine that tall? I anticipate we'll need what I recognise as a 'full size JCB' to clear the plot, could that do it?

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1 minute ago, scottishjohn said:

easier to leave about4- 5ft of trunk then lever on that with the digger maybe  to pull roots out

 

Yes, we'd do that for sure. Thanks.

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Getting permission to take trees down as long as you are not in a conservation area, should be very simple, I have taken down 9 trees and have been given permission for another 6 all with permission that cost less than the worry of getting anything wrong.....

 

and im just outside the broads authority, permission to take trees down was a lot cheaper than full planning permission..., and you can do I think in your relatives name too..

Edited by JandD

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47 minutes ago, christianbeccy said:

 

Excellent, that's what I wanted to hear. In the main.

 

I did want to ask about the roots etc, but wanted to keep this thread more simple. What do you think it would take to remove the stump/roots of a Pine that tall? I anticipate we'll need what I recognise as a 'full size JCB' to clear the plot, could that do it?

We had a lot of trees on our plot - we took out about 80 mature spruce (on condition of replanting).

As to the machine, it depends a bit on how you are going about the work. You can get some quite big root plates out with smaller excavators, but it takes a lot of messing about, and unless you already own a smaller machine is unlikely to be cost effective. A 13 ton Hitachi did ours.

 

It depends a bit on the ground as to whether a jcb will work - it would have got stuck very quickly on our site.

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Since you are outside a conservation area and no TPOs you can (and should) remove any unwanted tress without any consents.  Do this BEFORE you apply for consent for the housing.  Don't concern yourself with whether the planners will "like" this or not.  You have done nothing wrong.  If you apply for consent BEFORE removing the unwanted trees they may include a planning condition or TPOs, which could interfere with your scheme.

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they can and do put a 'woodland TPO' on areas which means you cant remove, prune, or touch ANY trees without applying for planning approval. We know we have it. Remove the ones that will be an issue now, Mr Punter is spot on. Spend a few quid and remove a massive risk.

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The OP is likely to be ok with this approach due to only 4 trees being of concern, but for the benefit of other readers in the future, be aware that felling a large number of trees prior to applying for planning may result in you falling foul of forestry legislation. There was a case in the Cairngorms recently where a developer did this and was prosecuted by the forestry commission (have changed their name now to something else).

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We remove 100 trees or so to create an access. 

 

Chainsaw/axe work was done by my father law and me and I then burnt the foliage pretty much non stop for over two or three days. 

 

The stumps were pulled out with a hook attachment on our ground worker's excavator. Even large stumps were easily removed this way.
 

The firewood was stored to season as of yesterday I now have a commissioned stove to burn it in.

 

We have replaced the cut spruce with some oak trees which are developing well.

 

P1050605.thumb.JPG.a6f324719a4583e8b896a5dd7ba891d2.JPG

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56 minutes ago, Thedreamer said:

We remove 100 trees or so to create an access. 

 

Chainsaw/axe work was done by my father law and me and I then burnt the foliage pretty much non stop for over two or three days. 

 

The stumps were pulled out with a hook attachment on our ground worker's excavator. Even large stumps were easily removed this way.
 

The firewood was stored to season as of yesterday I now have a commissioned stove to burn it in.

 

We have replaced the cut spruce with some oak trees which are developing well.

 

P1050605.thumb.JPG.a6f324719a4583e8b896a5dd7ba891d2.JPG

 

That's an impressively sized project. Pales mine into relative insignificance. Good work and very reassuring.

 

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On 01/11/2019 at 13:00, Mr Punter said:

Don't concern yourself with whether the planners will "like" this or not.  You have done nothing wrong.

 

Very much this, if the application is dealt with at Officer Delegated level. Professional Planning Officers are usually impartial and will assess any application 'by the book'. In 30-odd years working with Planning, I have yet to see an Officer Report on an application that recommended refusal because legal pre-application land management, including removal of trees, had taken place.

 

However:

 

It has to be said that it does sometimes influence Planning Committees; and of course if you wind up the neighbours to the degree that there are lots of objections, there is a greater likelihood of the scheme ending up at committee. If the rest of the proposal is good, then any Committee bias can be overcome at appeal, but there's an extra cost and delay involved in that.

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On 01/11/2019 at 12:23, JandD said:

Getting permission to take trees down as long as you are not in a conservation area, should be very simple, I have taken down 9 trees and have been given permission for another 6 all with permission that cost less than the worry of getting anything wrong.....

 

and im just outside the broads authority, permission to take trees down was a lot cheaper than full planning permission..., and you can do I think in your relatives name too..

What permission is this?

if you are not in a conservation area and the trees are not covered by a tree preservation order then no consent is required 

check the site has no other planning restrictions and your good to go. 

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Just now, Russell griffiths said:

What permission is this?

if you are not in a conservation area and the trees are not covered by a tree preservation order then no consent is required 

check the site has no other planning restrictions and your good to go. 

 

Interestingly, I was looking over other planning cases in the local area and noticed one for the felling of a couple of trees. The response from the council was that they wouldn't be looking to enforce retrospective TPO's, so the homeowner in that case was free to remove the trees.

 

Was that person just being over-cautious by applying for permission to remove non-protected trees?

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3 minutes ago, christianbeccy said:

 

Interestingly, I was looking over other planning cases in the local area and noticed one for the felling of a couple of trees. The response from the council was that they wouldn't be looking to enforce retrospective TPO's, so the homeowner in that case was free to remove the trees.

 

Was that person just being over-cautious by applying for permission to remove non-protected trees?

I have not been involved in the tree business for a good few years so I would clarify anything first

but generally a generic e mail to the tree department, get a confirmation back to keep on record and start cutting. 

If the councils do not put the appropriate measures in place to stop these things then they have nobody to blame but themselves. 

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There are stories, possibly apocryphal, that requests for confirmation that there's no TPO has triggered the making of a TPO so probably best to leave the enquiry to within days of work starting.

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On 01/11/2019 at 11:45, christianbeccy said:

[...]

Could you please elaborate slightly on this one?

 

Developer over claims on tax deductible expense: to the value of the fine (at least). 

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14 hours ago, Ed Davies said:

There are stories, possibly apocryphal, that requests for confirmation that there's no TPO has triggered the making of a TPO so probably best to leave the enquiry to within days of work starting.

 

Not apocryphal. I think that in some places it is Standard Operating Procedure, and in some places in the normal practise.

 

To op: imo do at least what you need to do first. But bear in mind that if you get it wrong  you can't reverse it. IMO if there TPOs then do not break the rules. You can check either online in some places, or by asking for a map of the area with TPOs, carefully asking for an adjacent address that will include yours.

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand

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