Fareham Borough Council has successfully prosecuted Mr Simon Woodhams after he illegally caused or permitted the cutting down, uprooting or wilful destruction of 24 trees, which were protected by a Tree Preservation Order.
Mr Woodhams was found guilty of the offences at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on November 7, 2018 and was fined £25,000. He was also ordered to pay £20,000 in costs to the Council, plus £300 in court surcharge.
The offences were committed at Mr Woodhams' property at Sarisbury Green, between 8th October 2015 and 27th January 2017.
Council officers had met at Mr Woodhams property in 2015 to discuss the management of the trees and development of the house. A formal application was then received by the Council for permission to crown lift seven trees, reduce 17 trees, coppice one tree and fell 36 trees which was granted.
Subsequent visits by council officers to Mr Woodhams' property however revealed that additional trees, over and above what had been permitted, had been removed from the site. An extensive investigation found that 24 trees had been removed in breach of a Tree Preservation Order.
Chairman of the Planning Committee, Cllr Nick Walker, said: "This prosecution sends out a clear message that violating a Tree Preservation Order has serious legal consequences. Tree Preservation Orders are put in place to protect trees which are an important part of the local area. Council officers had worked with Mr Woodhams to allow him to carry out some works to the trees but his actions far exceeded that. Anyone planning tree work should contact the Council for advice before doing anything."
For further information contact:
The Communications Team, Tel: 01329 824310
fax: 01329 550576, e-mail: email@example.com
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