District Council makes stand against unauthorised tree felling

Posted on: Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Three individual parties have been ordered to pay almost £10,000 after pleading guilty of removing four trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO).

Newark and Sherwood District Council first discovered the trees, which were located on Appleton Gate, Newark, were felled in August and September 2021, without prior consent having been applied from them, as the local planning authority.  These four trees were all protected by TPOs, an order made by a local planning authority to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interest of amenity.  The four trees were a willow, sycamore, rowan and silver birch.

Once the District Council realised the unauthorised removal, it stopped at nothing to ensure that the perpetrators of this offence were taken to court to be served with the fines they rightly deserve.  The person engaged to fell the trees, one of the property owners and the business occupying 79 Appleton Gate all pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates Court on the 14 March 2022. The parties were ordered to pay £2560.90, £2500.90 and £4500.90 respectively, including fines, costs and a victim surcharge.

Councillor Roger Blaney, Chairman of the Planning Committee at Newark and Sherwood District Council said, “I hope this legal actions sends a strong message to everyone that the unauthorised felling of trees protected by TPO’s will not be tolerated. 

“The TPO’s are there for a reason and we will not stand by and let individuals do as they wish and break the law.  I hope this court case acts as a warning to others who may consider doing similar in the future.”

The District Council takes an extremely dim view of any harmful unauthorised works and action can, and will, be taken against all parties responsible. 

In addition to the court fines the Council will now pursue securing replacement trees.

A Tree Preservation Order prohibits the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent.  If you are looking to carry out any work to a tree, check with the District Council’s planning department prior to starting any work.  This is also the case for works to trees within a Conservation Area.