Developer fined £4,500 for illegal tree works

A company that carried out unauthorised work on a garden oak tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order in Belper, Derbyshire, has been fined £4,500 following a successful prosecution by Amber Valley Borough Council.

Trafalgar House managing director Robert Brown entered a guilty plea on behalf of the company at the hearing at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court. The firm was also ordered to pay £2,500 costs. The council employed an arboricultural consultant from Midland Tree Surgeons to examine the tree.

Council landscape officer Chris Beal said neighbours of the house where the tree was damaged provided evidence "because they felt so aggrieved about the damage caused to the tree".

"The defence has said that all the way through these proceedings they only removed a few dead and hollow branches from the tree, but the evidence provided by the neighbours disputes that and, most certainly, the works carried out on the tree were not done in accordance with good arboricultural practice."

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