Issue - meetings

Objection to serving of TPO

Meeting: 16/12/2015 - Appeals Committee (Item 68)

68 Objection to serving of TPO (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 Mr and Mrs Thorn, objectors to the Tree Protection Order (TPO); Hugh Coggles (Tree & Countryside Officer); and Mike Horn (Legal Advisor to the Committee).


The Tree & Countryside Officer presented the report.  Three trees; T1, T2 and T3 were proposed to be protected by the Order.  Mr and Mrs Thorn were objecting to the Order on trees T1 and T2 which were in their garden.  Those trees were not considered to be at risk, but as one other tree had already been removed from the estate it had been thought prudent to protect the three trees as they enhanced the visual amenities of Watton.


The Tree & Countryside Officer confirmed that he had no objection to works on the trees and would be happy to advise on pruning.  The TPO would give control over the level of pruning.


The Chairman asked about the tree that had been lost.  The owners had rung the Council and been advised that the tree was not protected.  That had been the correct information at the time.  The call had not been transferred to the Tree & Countryside Officer.


It was noted that the scores for trees T2 and T3 had been inadvertently reversed.  T2 had scored 17 and T3 had scored 14.  Any score over 11 was defendable.


Mr and Mrs Thorn did not object to the TPO itself, they objected to the way the matter had been dealt with.  They were annoyed that the trees had not been protected when planning permission had been granted for the houses.  Their solicitor had carried out the correct searches when they had purchased their property and they would not have bought their house if a TPO had been in place.


They considered the requirement to get three quotes for any works on the trees onerous.  They had contacted the Council out of common decency before doing the work.  If they had not contacted the Council they could have removed the trees if they had wanted to.  As it was, they did not want to remove the trees.  They wanted to look after them.

The Tree & Countryside Officer explained that it was only good advice that three quotes were obtained.  It was not actually a requirement.


The level of minor trimming to the tree that could be carried out without prior permission, if the trees were protected, was discussed.  If was also explained that if there was an immediate threat to safety, verbal permission could be given for damaged and dangerous branches to be removed without requiring an application.  Photographic proof would be required.


Mr and Mrs Thorn were concerned that their neighbours had been informed of the TPO and would think that they had intended to remove the trees.


In view of the Tree & Countryside Officer’s confirmation that he would not object to them pruning their trees Mr and Mrs Thorn were asked if they still objected to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68