Council takes resident to court for "poor" unauthorised pruning of TPO trees

A Gloucestershire man has been fined £200 for each of four trees he pruned without seeking consent from Cotswold District Council.

Image: Cotswold District Council
Image: Cotswold District Council

Council tree officers noticed in 2017 that several trees on the property of John Beer in the village of Ullenwood near Cheltenham had been disfigured by poor pruning without consent having been given. The four trees were protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in 2014.

Cheltenham Magistrates fined Beer £800 and ordered him to pay a contribution towards the council’s costs of £120 along with a £30 victim surcharge after he pleaded guilty to the offence.

The council's cabinet member for heritage and design Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington said: "This prosecution clearly demonstrates the council’s commitment to protecting the character of the Cotswolds. We will have no hesitation in prosecuting those who disregard Tree Preservation Orders."

The prosecution was assisted by the council’s Counter Fraud Unit (CFU) which was set up to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against local government and social housing providers, with the aim of minimising abuse of public funds.

A spokesperson for the CFU said: "I am positive that members of the public will be pleased that the CFU has assisted the council’s tree officers to ensure this case has been dealt with appropriately."

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