Prosecution success for illegal tree cutting

Released on 27 February 2019

South Staffordshire council news

South Staffordshire Council has successfully prosecuted a Stourbridge man for unauthorised tree works carried out to a mature yew tree on a property in Kinver, which was protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

Paul Jackson (65) who lives in Quarry Park Road in Stourbridge pleaded guilty by post and his case was considered at North Staffordshire Justice Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme at the beginning of January 2019. Mr Jackson was found guilty of breaching Section 210(4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and was fined £366 and ordered to pay court costs of £346 and a victim surcharge of £36.

The protected yew tree was on a third parties land in Lawnswood Drive in Kinver and was adjacent to a new building plot being developed by Jackson. In March 2018, the branches and crown of the yew tree were drastically cut back, away from the boundary of the building plot. This was reported to South Staffordshire Council on March 2018 and investigated by them.

Mr Jackson admitted knowledge of the tree's preservation order and for instructing and employing a contractor to carry out pruning of the yew tree. Evidence was not provided of the instruction given by Mr Jackson to the contractor or their contact details.

Councillor Brian Edwards MBE, Leader of South Staffordshire Council, said, “Many trees in the district are protected by tree preservation orders and I hope this prosecution highlights to residents that we will not hesitate to prosecute if such orders are ignored. This case demonstrates that there are financial penalties and the defendant now has a criminal record too.

"Tree preservation orders protect trees which are considered to make a significant contribution to the local surroundings and we have a duty to protect them. Criminal damage to the environment is a serious offence and people should always check with the Council before starting work on any tree or woodland to see if there is a TPO. If there is one, then no work can be done without written permission from the Council. This case also highlights the need to retain details about contractors and any instructions given to them."

Residents can find out more about TPOS, or report any works suspected of being in breach of an order by visiting:
https://www.sstaffs.gov.uk/planning/tree-preservation-orders.cfm

Pic showing the tree in 2012...

TPO prosecution - Jackson - Feb 2019 - before

... and following the unauthorised tree works in March 2018.

TPO prosecution - Jackson - Feb 2019 - after


Contact details

For further details contact
South Staffordshire District Council
Council Offices,
Wolverhampton Road,
Codsall,
South Staffordshire,
WV8 1PX

Tel: 01902 696000

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