Issue - meetings

Objection to serving of Tree Preservation Order 2015 No.9

Meeting: 28/10/2015 - Appeals Committee (Item 57)

57 Objection to serving of Tree Preservation Order 2015 No.9 (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

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The Committee heard the application in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedures.


The Hearing took place in the presence of Hugh Coggles (Tree & Countryside Officer), Mr Simon Westaway, objector and Tom Donnelly (Technical Admin Assistant) who was present as an observer only.  The Committee’s legal advisor Tamsin Eddison was also in attendance.


The Tree & Countryside Officer presented the report and advised Members that having visited site and assessed the tree he felt it had a high amenity value in the Conservation Area and was worthy of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).


Mr Westaway noted that an additional letter from his neighbour had been omitted from the agenda pack.  It had been e-mailed to Members for information.  The letter referred to problems his neighbours had experienced with the needles from the tree which had caused the hood mechanism of their soft top car to malfunction.


Neighbours on the other side also supported the proposal to fell the tree due to nuisance from needles and root damage to drains.


Mr Westaway noted that he had been given permission to fell the tree by the Council’s previous Tree & Countryside Officer some years ago.  However, due to pressure from the Town Council who used the tree in their Christmas Lights display he had let that permission lapse.  The tree had grown considerably since then and some of the horizontal branches were touching his house.  He referred to a separate tree report that he had commissioned which provided a different assessment.  The tree had already been cut back by the Highways Authority which had caused a loss of shape.


Members asked about the condition of the tree and whether its balance had been affected by branches being lopped on one side.  The geology of the area was also discussed.


The Tree & Countryside Officer asserted that tree roots very rarely damaged pipes.  The tree was relatively young, being about 30 years old with a likely life of 100 to 150 years.  It might be expected to reach 20 metres in height with an eight metre radius if left unchecked.  However, it could be pruned and maintained to restrict its width.  He accepted that it was not an ideal location but the tree was healthy and had high amenity value.


Mr Westaway advised the Committee that if the TPO was confirmed he would apply to fell the tree and if he was refused again he would appeal to the Secretary of State.


The Tree & Countryside Officer explained that if the tree was preserved and Mr Westaway applied to fell it he would be required to give a reason and provide evidence to back up his request.  Without supporting evidence it was likely that permission would be refused to fell the tree.


Everyone was asked to leave the room whilst the Committee made their determination.  They were then invited back to hear the decision.


The Chairman explained that there had been a thorough discussion by Members and they had concluded that the tree could be trimmed and pruned  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57