UKTC Archive

RE: Highways works and Conservation Areas [Scanned]

Subject: RE: Highways works and Conservation Areas [Scanned]
From: Addison, Gilbert
Date: Feb 06 2009 08:29:47
I can see the Highways people pointing to there faces from here. As Ed
says - you have to just keep plugging away. 

Gilbert Addison | Tree and Countryside Officer |Breckland Council
Office: 01362 XXXXXX Fax: 01362 XXXXXX 
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Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham NR19 1EE |



-----Original Message-----
From: Howe, Ron [] 
Sent: 06 February 2009 08:19
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Highways works and Conservation Areas [Scanned]

Similar experiences down here in Surrey as well. Not good to pursue the
HA, better to support them and try to guide them. Fortunately Surrey CC
has some good TOs now, but much still goes awry. Also look at the
various Highways Acts also (74, 80 etc.), which probably confuses things
even more. I have frequently found myself dealing with public outrage at
the loss of highway trees and then have to spend time explaining that
the Highway Authority is a statutory undertaker, which has overriding
powers and, yes that they did discuss it with us and, that there's very
little I can do other than to bath your wounds for you.


-----Original Message-----
From: Edmund Hopkins []
Sent: 06 February 2009 07:59
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Highways works and Conservation Areas [Scanned]

I'm afraid turning your forensic gaze on the minuiae of the legislation
is unlikely to avail you here, Chris, and the best hope is that this
particular failure can be used to drag up standards in the highway
design section. It will of course be very helpful if there is some
public outrage and you get the chance to set out the reasons and policy
justification for not trashing street tree roots.


Edmund Hopkins
Tree Officer
Planning Services
Nottingham City Council
From: Chris Hastie []
Sent: 05 February 2009 16:09
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Highways works and Conservation Areas [Scanned]

I wonder if anyone can come up with chapter and verse on the right of a
Highways Authority to go slicing through the roots of mature trees in
the interests of tarmacing sections of highway verge to form a cycle
path. The trees and works are within a conservation area.

Seems to me that the Highways Authority are a statutory undertaker
(model order: "a person authorised by any enactment to carry on any ...
tramway, road transport ... undertaking"). As such they have certain
exemptions, namely:

"in the interests of the safe operation of the undertaking"
Can't see that a new cycle way fits too well into this.

"in connection with the inspection, repair or renewal of any sewers,
mains, pipes, cables or other apparatus of the statutory undertaker"

"to enable the statutory undertaker to carry out development permitted
by or under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted
Development) Order 1995"

The interesting one. The GPDO grants HAs the following permitted
development rights:

"The carrying out by a local highway authority on land *outside* but
adjoining the boundary of an existing highway of works required for or
incidental to the maintenance or improvement of the highway"

Note the 'outside'. After a bit of digging it seems that this is because
if the work was inside the highway, it would not be development and
therefore would have no need to be 'permitted development' (see T&CPA
1990 55(2)(b)).

So, perhaps a little bizarrely, it seems had the HA built the cycle path
outside the adopted highway, they could have ripped up as many roots as
they liked with impunity. But inside the highway boundaries, they should
have notified the work.


Chris Hastie

Find a tree surgeon at

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