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: Bettina Broadway-Mann
Date: Dec 06 2018 09:57:12
Dear Julian and Ron,
thank you for your responses - very helpful.

It turns out the committee meeting next week is to decide whether the local
authority will take things further or not - so I've explained to my client
that this is an internal procedure and therefore not surprising that they
are not invited to it.

I'll let you know the outcome when we hear.

all the best
Bettina


On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 3:37 PM Howe, Ron <Ron.Howe@xxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk> wrote:

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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