Substantial fine for builder who felled protected trees on churchyard boundary

A builder has been fined £14,000 for felling two protected trees in a Lincolnshire conservation area.

St Peter and St Paul's Church, Old Bolingbroke - image:Duncan Harris
St Peter and St Paul's Church, Old Bolingbroke - image:Duncan Harris

Following an investigation by East Lindsey District Council, Terrence Batten of Old Bolingbroke was found to have felled a holly and a cypress in the village without necessary notification.

Boston Magistrates Court imposed a £12,000 fine plus £700 costs and £1,200 victim surcharge yesterday (Wednesday 10 December).

The court heard that members of the public and residents were "upset and distressed" at the impact of the felling on the adjacent St Peter and St Paul's Church, and had contacted the council to report their concerns.

Batten declined an invitation to be interviewed under caution, but in court pleaded guilty to offences under section 210 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

The council's arboricultural officer Robert Taylor said: "In carrying out this work Mr Batten showed a complete disregard for the conservation area and the protection this affords trees within it.

"The level of fine reflects that this was a serious breach of the law, causing harm to the character of the area and a great deal of distress to local people."


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