UKTC Archive

RE: Offensive behaviour

Subject: RE: Offensive behaviour
From: Vowell Anthony R CDE/EDP
Date: Dec 20 2001 08:45:33
As usual it seems that the DC boys are'nt talking to the TO. It happens.
A lot. We have to whip them into line every so often. Putting a lot of
tree related planning conditions into the computer system helps [PACIS],
but only when the permission has been given. Getting hold of and
flagging up DC applications as they arrive is the only way. Luckily my
lot are fairly good [and getting better] at doing that. It helps that I
work out of the Planning Dept.

I would also like to see what comes out of the pot on this one, since I
also have a reasonably similar scenario to deal with. Non TPO or
conservation area, so as a TO my remit is limited, but the trees were
removed from near a boundary by persons unknown as yet. Theft is one
option the local constabulary are persuing but also criminal damage.

Which brings us back to your problem. 

Criminal Damage is the one to go for IMO as we all know that the law
only allows the neighbour to cut back to the boundary. Any more and it's
trespass and criminal for the lawyers methinks


-----Original Message-----
From: TREECISION (Julian Forbes) []
Sent: 18 December 2001 17:04
Subject: Offensive behaviour

I have just returned from inspecting a tree owned by a county Wildlife
Trust. Mature beech, approx 23m tall, 24m spread, stem dia. at 1.5m
1200mm, crown breaks at 1.5m, growing 5m from the corner of a nature
reserve, in generally good condition.

The LPA, who do not have SPG in relation to trees and did not see fit to
a TPO on this high amenity value tree, have allowed development to
within 5m
of the stem centre on one side and 7m on another, on the adjacent land.

The developer served notice on the WT that they required them to remove
overhanging branches, or they, the developer, would do it themselves. I
approached initially to offer a view on whether this treatment would be
arboriculturally acceptable. No prizes for guessing what I said.

Anyway, a bit of to-ing and fro-ing later and the developer has, to use
utility pruning term, 'sided' the beech, to remove the overhang from the

No step cuts, no terminal growth and approx. 40% of the crown gone.
left is a 23m tree 'crown raised' to 17m on two sides to within 2m of
leaders. Laterals of remaining spread and upper crown not touched.

In order to butcher this recently marvellous specimen good and proper,
developer has cut it back to 3m inside the nature reserve's boundary.

My question is this: are we talking criminal damage, tresspass to goods,
compensation for loss of amenity and asset (it being a nature reserve
trees being, generally, natural), or a subtle mix of the lot? Basically,
have any of you been down this road before and, if so, how did you get

My initial view is that the developer is outside the protection of
Law regarding overhead tresspass, and that the situation in no way meets
criteria for even a theoretical application under the Access to
Lands Act 1992. As such, I reckon he's bang-to-rights, but on which

My client is very keen to throw the heaviest book at the bastard he can
find, so any suggestions that will help him to do this will be

In anticipation,


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