Housing Development Company W E Black Limited was fined at St Albans Magistrates’ Court for breaking a tree preservation order, Hemel Today has reported.
Hemel Today writes:
Dacorum Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a housing developer for breaching a tree preservation order in Tring.
Eric Gadsden – on behalf of W E Black Limited and individually – pleaded guilty at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, August 19, and received a fine of £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500 as well as the victim charge of £100.
The company, W E Black Limited, received a fine of £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,689 as well as a victim surcharge of £181.
The offence took place at the former Convent Of St Francis De Sales Preparatory School, in Aylesbury Road, Tring which is being developed into new homes.
Works were approved with planning permission which permitted the removal of a number of the trees.
However three trees in particular were required to be retained and protected during construction work.
In January 2020, the developer removed one of the three trees – a mature beech tree which was considered to have a very high amenity value for the surrounding area.
Investigations began immediately following a report on January 10, that the tree had been felled. Dacorum Borough Council officers visited the site and confirmed that the protected tree had been felled.
Cllr Graham Sutton, Dacorum Borough Council’s portfolio holder for Planning and Infrastructure said: ‘This court case sends out the important message that the council will seek, where appropriate, to prosecute in cases of breaches of tree preservation orders.
“This case also highlights the importance the council attaches to protected trees which carry high amenity value.
“Where expedient and in the public interest to do so, the strongest possible action will be taken against those who do not comply with planning regulations.’”