Developer prosecuted for failing to protect roots of established trees

A council has successfully prosecuted a developer for breaching planning rules including an obligation to protect tree roots in a Gloucestershire town.

South Gloucestershire Council brought the case against Bellway Homes South West for failing to meet planning conditions attached to the development of a site in Yate. These required the developer to maintain root protection areas away from construction activities to protect existing trees on the site, and wheel washing to ensure that no vehicle leaving the site carried mud onto the highway.

Enforcement officers witnessed alterations to the protective fencing shielding the root protection area of an established oak tree, where digging had also taken place around the roots, breaking a number of them. They also witnessed a lack of the required wheel washing facilities, leading to mud on the road.

At North Avon Magistrates' Court on Friday 8 January, the defendant pleaded guilty to two offences concerning tree protection and road safety and was fined £1,750 on each count, and ordered to pay South Gloucestershire Council £954.78 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120, bringing the total to £4,574.78.

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