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Unauthorised work on protected tree costs woman £1.357


A WOMAN who carried out extensive work on a protected tree at Warrington has been ordered to pay £1,357.
An application had earlier been made to have the mature tree removed but it had been refused.
Jennifer Jacques-Williams, 41, of Victoria Road, Thelwall was sentenced at Warrington Combined Court for failing to obtain the appropriate planning consent to undertake work to a protected tree.
The court was told an application had been submitted to the Warrington Borough Council to remove the mature holly tree in the Victoria Road/York Drive conservation area in January 2019. The application was refused in March 2019 as the tree was considered to be in overall good health and had significant amenity value.
It was also considered that the crown of the tree was relatively contained and it was unlikely to grow to a size of concern that couldn’t be managed through pruning.
In July 2019, a council officer in the area noticed extensive works had been carried out on the tree, which they then reported and the council’s enforcement team launched an investigation.
Jacques-Williams pleaded guilty to contravening the provisions of a tree protection order through carrying out unconsented work on the tree. She was fined £750, with additional costs of £532.50 and a £75 victim surcharge.
After the hearing, Cllr Judith Guthrie, cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “Landowners and homeowners should respect and always check for tree preservation orders before carrying out any tree or landscaping works.
“Tree preservation orders are put in place to protect trees and prevent activities that can be harmful to the tree or have a detrimental effect on wildlife. Anyone found guilty of breaching a tree preservation order may be taken to court and face a significant fine.”
Anyone with an issue with a tree or hedge should visit the council’s website for advice: warrington.gov.uk/problems-hedges-trees-and-bushes


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