Venue: Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services Tel: 01362 656870
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday, 8 April 2009.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 8 April 2009 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies (Agenda Item 2)
To receive apologies for absence.
An apology for absence was received from Mrs J Ball.
Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda Item 5)
To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.
Mr A. Joel, Ward Representative for Buckenham.
Process of an Appeal against confirmation of Tree Preservation Order 2008 - No. 89 (Toftwood, Dereham) (Agenda Item 7)
An objection was made to the confirmation of TPO 2008 No.89 by adjacent householders Messrs Diffey and Rollo of Hillfields, Toftwood, Dereham. The objection was heard before Appeals Committee on 25th February 2009, at which meeting the objectors would normally have been given the opportunity to reiterate their written case in person.
Although an identical objection had previously been heard by Appeals Committee on 17th September 2008 (regarding a TPO which was subsequently not confirmed for technical reasons), the Council failed to notify Messrs Diffey and Rollo of the 25th February 2009 Committee date, so they were unavailable to represent their concerns in person.
This mistake came to light after the Appeals Committee had decided to confirm TPO 2008 No.89 and Messrs Diffey and Rollo received written confirmation of the decision. A letter of apology was immediately sent to Messrs Diffey and Rollo, who requested that an apology should be included in the Minutes of the next meeting of Appeals Committee.
This request is now to be considered.
The Chairman explained the reasons why this apology had been requested. He also confirmed that the letters of objection had been taken into account during the Appeals meeting held on 25 February 2009.
With respect to the process, and on behalf of the Appeals Committee, the Chairman then offered his apologies to Mr Diffey and Mr Rollo, the two neighbours who had raised the objection to the TPO. They had not been informed of the date of the second Hearing and had therefore been unable to present their cases personally.
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.
The Hearing was heard in the presence of the objector, Mr I. Hardy, who was supported by Councillor A. Joel, the Ward Representative for Buckenham. Mr M. Horn, the Council’s solicitor, was in attendance.
The Assistant Tree and Countryside Officer presented the report, explaining that Tree Preservation Order (TPO) 2009 No. 14 had been made on 11 March 2009 to protect two individual Ash trees within the garden of 1 Barbers Yard, which fell within the conservation area of Old Buckenham. An objection had been received on 17 March 2009.
Over recent months various planning applications relating to the neighbouring property had been received and then withdrawn as the proposed new dwelling needed an access driveway directly adjacent to the Ash trees. However, the latest planning application had been given approval on the 25 March 2009.
The Assistant Tree and Countryside Officer confirmed to the Committee that Mr Hardy’s objections related to concerns about the size and proximity of the trees, as well as possible potential damage due to root growth or the shedding of branches.
The Assistant Tree and Countryside Officer confirmed that a TPO had been served on these trees because of the history of planning applications in their immediate vicinity and an earlier application by Mr Hardy to fell one of them.
It was considered important that the TPO remained in force as the trees offered good amenity value. They were believed to be about 40-60 years old, with a likely lifespan of 80 years or more. In his opinion, the Assistant Tree and Countryside Officer felt that the trees were sound and merited the TPO. He had not received any reports of damage being caused by either tree, although he did acknowledge that the shedding of branches was part of the natural growth cycle.
When asked what extra level of protection was given by a “TPO”, as compared to that given to other trees growing in a “Conservation Area”, the Assistant Tree and Countryside Officer explained that a TPO effectively gave the Local Authority a little more authority and control over exactly what happened to the protected tree(s). Generally speaking, the Local Authority was better placed to give advice to tree owners applying for work to be done on such trees.
Mr Hardy was then given the opportunity to speak and asked if he could present two papers for consideration by the Committee. The Chairman confirmed that the Appeals Committee welcomed opinions from relevant experts, though the source and author should be apparent, and any such papers should ideally have been circulated in advance of the relevant meeting. In the case of the first paper, no author had been credited and the content appeared to be multi-sourced. With this in mind, Committee Members read the paper and noted its content.
Mr Hardy’s first concern was that upper branches were spreading and that one of the trunks had split into more than one piece. The research he had presented to the Committee suggested that multiple trunks in ... view the full minutes text for item 20.