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Cutting down a TPO tree by mistake - Enzo's homes

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On ‎30‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 11:32, AliMcLeod said:

Revoke the existing planning permission and grant them a new one with a pre-condition that they must plant a new tree but the work cannot start until November 2218.

 

Why not. The footpath officer expected me to wait for some grass to grow :-)

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Been following this - never much doubt.  Wonder if its the first time he / the business did this...

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Good.  I may have a bit of sympathy for the contractor if he's a one-man-band relying on the developer for an income, but I think the developer has no mitigating circumstances. Fingers crossed for a meaningful sentence!

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It seems strange to me that we have local housing plans that says we need more housing, then we have laws that say we cannot develop some of the land because of a tree.

I have always though that in Switzerland if it was not compulsory, it was illegal, but in the UK we seem to have laws that say you must do this, and then other laws stopping you.

May be worth asking a few people that are desperate for a home what they think.

I live in an area of the UK that has very few trees, this is after living in an area that had lots.  I can't honestly say that lack of trees is what is affecting my wellbeing.

 

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There do seem to be some odd things in the way planning is granted that seems often to push housing onto "odd" bits of land.  The one that comes to mind is the one posted recently where the builders excavated a hillside and erected a massive retaining wall higher than the houses.  Surely there must have been some flatter land nearby that would have been much better to build houses on and leave that steep hillside for grazing sheep?

 

And witness the number of self builders building on awkward shaped often sloping sites with any number of other difficulties because that's all they can get planning on.  I am sure most would love to build on that flat field over there but are not allowed.

 

Our own plot is a bit like that. It's a strip of land previously used (over 100 years ago) as the wood storage yard for the sawmill that was at the top of our road.  It's too small and irregular shaped to be used for agriculture, so lets build some houses on it?  That seems to be the thought process in planning.

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The hearing was by  District Judge in the Magistrates Court.

 

In a Mag Court the fine is £20k. In the Crown Court it is unlimited.

 

I am not clear what the powers of a District Judge in a magistrates Court are, or whether it can be transferred for sentencing.

 

Surprised that this one was not heard in the Crown Court.

 

Ferdinand

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14 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 

I am not clear what the powers of a District Judge in a magistrates Court are, or whether it can be transferred for sentencing.

I'm not certain but I think it can only be transferred for trial, perhaps on the basis stiffer sentences deserve a more robust process?

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59 minutes ago, ProDave said:

There do seem to be some odd things in the way planning is granted that seems often to push housing onto "odd" bits of land.  The one that comes to mind is the one posted recently where the builders excavated a hillside and erected a massive retaining wall higher than the houses.  Surely there must have been some flatter land nearby that would have been much better to build houses on and leave that steep hillside for grazing sheep?

 

And witness the number of self builders building on awkward shaped often sloping sites with any number of other difficulties because that's all they can get planning on.  I am sure most would love to build on that flat field over there but are not allowed.

 

Our own plot is a bit like that. It's a strip of land previously used (over 100 years ago) as the wood storage yard for the sawmill that was at the top of our road.  It's too small and irregular shaped to be used for agriculture, so lets build some houses on it?  That seems to be the thought process in planning.

Ive given up trying to work out reasons planning give for refusal  sometimes 

 a man had a plot with slope on it --wanted to build an earth sheltered eco house 

NO- build a normal scottish type long house on the flat bit was the reply 

the way he wanted to do it --you would not have seen the house at all 

 

so go figure that one out 

 

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41 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

The hearing was by  District Judge in the Magistrates Court.

 

In a Mag Court the fine is £20k. In the Crown Court it is unlimited.

 

I am not clear what the powers of a District Judge in a magistrates Court are, or whether it can be transferred for sentencing.

 

Surprised that this one was not heard in the Crown Court.

 

Ferdinand

 

Many magistrates courts now have a district judge rather than a bench sitting, the MoJ seems to have been quietly trying to get rid of benches over the years, as there was a view that having a group of lay people sitting in judgement was "less professional".  Caused a stir within the magistrates association, and has resulted in some magistrates just chucking the (voluntary) job in.  It's fair to say there has been a sort of running battle between the MA and the MoJ for some years.

 

The maximum penalty for breach of  a TPO is £20k I believe, so this wouldn't have gone to Crown Court.  It was probably manipulated so that the case was heard by a DJ, rather than a bench, I suspect.

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2 minutes ago, scottishjohn said:

Ive given up trying to work out reasons planning give for refusal  sometimes 

 a man had a plot with slope on it --wanted to build an earth sheltered eco house 

NO- build a normal scottish type long house on the flat bit was the reply 

the way he wanted to do it --you would not have seen the house at all 

 

so go figure that one out 

 

A similar one here. A farmer applied for permission to build a house on the same side of the road as his existing farm house and barns.  No, build it on the other side of the road (where there were currently no buildings at all) was the reply.

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41 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

I am not clear what the powers of a District Judge in a magistrates Court are, or whether it can be transferred for sentencing.

I think it is do do with the minimum/maximum prison sentence that can be bestowed on the crime.

It was explained to me when I did Jury Service, but have forgotten now.

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The owner of the tree company that did this would be well aware of the risk he was taking. As a [link removed - breach of forum T's and Cs] myself I check every single healthy tree for council protections. It's easy. Depending on which council it is you just either have a look on the council interactive maps or phone or email them. The rule across the industry is to assume every tree is protected unless it's dead dying or dangerous. 

You need permission  even if you are only pruning.

Cheers for reading

Steve

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13 minutes ago, Treestylesteve said:

The owner of the tree company that did this would be well aware of the risk he was taking. As a [link removed - breach of forum T's and Cs] myself I check every single healthy tree for council protections. It's easy. Depending on which council it is you just either have a look on the council interactive maps or phone or email them. The rule across the industry is to assume every tree is protected unless it's dead dying or dangerous. 

You need permission  even if you are only pruning.

Cheers for reading

Steve

Also I have just noticed the guy in question is a green timber dealer also. He's dodgy I'd say.

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18 minutes ago, Treestylesteve said:

The owner of the tree company that did this would be well aware of the risk he was taking. As a [link removed - breach of forum T's and Cs] myself I check every single healthy tree for council protections. It's easy. Depending on which council it is you just either have a look on the council interactive maps or phone or email them. The rule across the industry is to assume every tree is protected unless it's dead dying or dangerous. 

You need permission  even if you are only pruning.

Cheers for reading

Steve

 

Welcome Steve. No commercial links are allowed, unfortunately, but please stick around. We could do with more input on tree questions. Earning yourself a reputation by answering questions often eventually leads to work, typically by people contacting you by private message.

 

We've had some work done on trees in the past, and even the cheaper/dodgier guy we had take down a non-TPOed tree was very careful to check that it wasn't covered by the TPOs covering some other trees on the block.


We also had a situation where a large oak with a TPO dropped a large branch on our house (just missed the kids). It tore out from an even larger branch above it, which was hanging over the entrance to our house. Council was adamant that if we touched the remaining branch to make it safer without permission, we would be prosecuted, and they wouldn't do anything to speed up the 8 week (or whatever it is) decision process. The experienced arbo guy we got out concluded that the branch was safer than we thought it looked, and wouldn't touch it for fear of the TPO. So we went through the full permission process and used the opportunity to get permission for thinning of some other overweight branches as well.

 

The council was almost certainly exaggerating about prosecution, but it does show the attitude you need to contend with.

 

 

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I'm in a conservation area. Two years back I noticed a tree on our boundary was dead. This was one of a group mentioned on our tree survey. To remove a dead tree you don't need to submit a notification of tree works but I did anyway. The council have four weeks to respond. After four weeks I got someone to cut it down. Took about an hour. Two weeks later I get an email from the tree officer saying I can go ahead. I didn't tell him he was two weeks late.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Temp said:

To remove a dead tree you don't need to submit a notification of tree works

 

So how do you prove that it was dead if someone complained? I’m thinking more of someone who chopped it down themselves rather than employing a professional who could presumably verify the position. 

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4 hours ago, newhome said:

So how do you prove that it was dead if someone complained? I’m thinking more of someone who chopped it down themselves rather than employing a professional who could presumably verify the position. 

 

A photo would work in many cases, depending on tree type and time of year.

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5 hours ago, Temp said:

I'm in a conservation area. Two years back I noticed a tree on our boundary was dead. This was one of a group mentioned on our tree survey. To remove a dead tree you don't need to submit a notification of tree works but I did anyway. The council have four weeks to respond. After four weeks I got someone to cut it down. Took about an hour. Two weeks later I get an email from the tree officer saying I can go ahead. I didn't tell him he was two weeks late.

 

 

It’s six weeks notification in a conservation area. 

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Quote

 

The council was almost certainly exaggerating about prosecution, but it does show the attitude you need to contend with.

 

Round here it’s even more fun as the council tree officer is on sick leave so basically you submit and they do nothing ....!! I know of a couple of planning applications that went to 18 weeks and non-determined as they needed the tree surveys reviewed.

 

They have also exacerbated it with 2 new conservation areas in the district so that is more approvals needed and no-one to do them.... 

 

On DD&D (dead, dying or dangerous) then the guidance is vague. In the 2012 amendments to the tree protection legislation, the rules around what is “dying” were altered. It became permissible to remove a dead branch without consent, but the notice for other work was increased to 5 days. On top of this, councils lost their Article 5 protection which meant if they delayed a decision and a tree caused damage then you could claim compensation. This was restricted previously and was designed to speed up decision making to put liability back with the tree owner ...

 

5 hours ago, newhome said:

 

So how do you prove that it was dead if someone complained? I’m thinking more of someone who chopped it down themselves rather than employing a professional who could presumably verify the position. 

 

Take photos and preferably keep some sections of any dead or diseased timber. 

 

The term “professional” is also a challenging one as arborist and Arboricultural contractor are used in the legislation, but you could equally ask a horticulturalist or a plant scientist if a tree was dead..... who’s the expert or professional now..??

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6 hours ago, newhome said:

 

So how do you prove that it was dead if someone complained? I’m thinking more of someone who chopped it down themselves rather than employing a professional who could presumably verify the position. 

 

Professional report.

 

In the dangerous one I did, the Council were cooperative.

 

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1 hour ago, Russell griffiths said:

It’s six weeks notification in a conservation area. 

Oops.

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