UKTC Archive

RE: Can alleged damage to a TPO'd tree be dealt with via a planning enforcement action?

Subject: RE: Can alleged damage to a TPO'd tree be dealt with via a planning enforcement action?
From: Howe, Ron
Date: Dec 04 2018 15:37:57
Hi Bettina,

As far as I see it, you right where a tree has statutory protection, in that 
damage to the tree may be pursued through the courts as a criminal offence, 
for either damage to the tree or for carrying out works without the consent 
of the authority. However, the authority may also take a number of other 
actions including an informal warning and a formal written caution, which can 
be used as evidence of bad character if they ever appeared in court in the 
future. Charges for either way offences have to be brought with 6 months and, 
summary offences with a year (I think).

Where the tree was required to be retained and or protected by a condition to 
a development consent enforcement action may be taken for non compliance of a 
condition. In that case all sorts of rectification notices could be applied 
without the need to take a criminal measures route, including cautions.

In either case the enforcement team may be asked to prepare a sanction report 
with a recommendation to take whatever action they feel is appropriate before 
moving forward. As such, those reports are not public documents until such 
time they are presented at a committee. The report may include a 
recommendation that criminal charges are yet brought subject to a PACE 
Interview Under Caution.

Don't forget also, that the LPA could make a new C TPO where there is a risk 
the tree may be lost, or they could require the tree be removed if damaged 
beyond rectification under the Misc. Prov. Act 1976 as a hazard and or issue 
a Tree Replacement Notice.

Ron Howe
Tree Officer (Planning)
Mole Valley District Council
Tel. 01306 XXX XXX

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
[mailto:uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Bettina Broadway-Mann
Sent: 04 December 2018 12:59
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Can alleged damage to a TPO'd tree be dealt with via a planning 
enforcment action?

Dear All,
An interesting scenario that I would like to pick your brains about.

A client of mine has a TPO'd mature tree on their land, and the LPA have
announced that they are going to take enforcement action against them for
alleged damage to the roots of the tree.

An enforcement officer and an external arb consultant chosen by the LPA
attended site to meet my client and look at the tree and the surrounding
area.

My client was not cautioned or interviewed under caution at any point then
or since.

It has now emerged that the LPA has opened a planning enforcement case and
is intending to present this to the planning committee in the near future.

The LPA has said that the landowner cannot see the tree report that they
commissioned, nor can they see the enforcement report going to committee,
or make any representation to committee either.

Here in Wales we are still under the 1999 TPO regs, and my understanding of
the regs (please correct me if I am wrong), is that as it is a criminal
offence to damage a TPO'd tree, there would have to be a court case against
my client.

Could someone please confirm / refute that an LPA can deal with alleged
damage to a TPO'd tree by planning enforcement only?  And if so, what
action could the LPA then enforce on the landowner?

Many thanks as always,
with regards
Bettina



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