Increase the penalty for developers & landowners who remove trees illegally

AnniDAnniD Posts: 4,462
@LG_ mentioned this petition on the Forkers thread. Following on from the success of the "bird netting" petition, please can you take a look at this one and sign if you wish ?
Many thanks
LG_ & AnniD  :)

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/258756
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Posts

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 6,925
    Done.
    You wouldn't know a diamond if you held it in your hand
    The things you think are precious, i don't understand
  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 560
    Before we start penalising people, how about we make it easier to find out about TPOs? All trees covered by a TPO should be in the legal pack when purchasing a property. If they’re not, a homeowner could easily chop down a tree without realising it had a TPO and that they had to specifically apply to the council to find out.
  • Big Blue SkyBig Blue Sky Posts: 309
    Signed, thanks @AnniD
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 4,462
    Impatient gardener, Although it mentions landowners, I think it's primarily aimed at developers. There is someone on the forum who has had land next to them completely decimated ,because it's easier just to destroy the trees, say "Oops, sorry" and open the company wallet.
    Your point about TPOs is a fair one, I think there should definitely be far more publicity given to them. 
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 6,925
    Having been through the process of getting TPO's, because of neighbour problems, I can report that it is very difficult to get a TPO for a garden tree, unless it forms a part of a boundary with public land, or a highway.
    I cannot get protection for some Yew trees, which are at least 300 years old, and may be much older.
    You wouldn't know a diamond if you held it in your hand
    The things you think are precious, i don't understand
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 450
    Thanks @AnniD,

    Just signed.

    Bee x
      image  Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey 
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,094
    It's a tricky one. Generally the more burden that is put onto land owners in regard to nature the less it actually gets protected in my experience. When the costs of ecological surveys and mitigation starts to look too high on a project then that's when habitat gets destroyed before planning approval is applied for, as in the case of the bird netting. Builders will always find a way for the problem to go away. Kids setting fire to the tree or vandals polluting ponds. I've lost count of how many builders I've heard saying a tree will disappear before anyone thinks to ask about protecting it.

    In my opinion we need to find a way for nature to enhance the value of properties as developers are only motivated by one thing in general. The sooner they start seeing the natural value of a site as a 'value' then the sooner things will start to change.

    You can ramp up the costs of fines but a builder can have a 'subcontractor' take it down and then the subby can find a way to avoid paying. Maybe making the landowner equally responsible like they have with gamekeepers shooting protected birds might help but jail sentences would be a better solution than just a fine.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    @punkdoc have you tried contacting the Woodland Trust group, they can be helpful.
     Ah Sheffield.... council, too busy cutting down trees. What hope do you have!
    Good Luck.

    @ImpatientGardener
    Although that is is a good idea to make sure that modern home buying  pack contain information re TPO's. Is that not covered in some way in the questions? 
    The conveyancing solicitor should be mentioning it. We were first time buyers 30 + years ago and did not have to ask,  we were told.

    Sorry going a bit off topic, I appreciate your link is more to do with developers and they can get away with a lot AnniD. Clever legal teams and money. The councils and government who should enforce what is already in place are short of money and so staff/ people to enforce and oversee what happens thin on the ground.
    And actual builders and workmen on the sites, also the majority do not care, or if they do won't rock the boat, and who pays their wages, so they can pay their mortgages and feed the family.

    I hope it will make a difference.
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,382
    No measures are perfect, but a strong deterrent is better than the current situation, imo. And the bit at the end about 'severe restrictions placed on the land's future use' is probably key.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 7,150
    From a domestic point of view, it is not always necessary to have a TPO on a tree/trees to restrict you from cutting them down ( or even pruning excessively ).  Conservation Areas also have rules and regs concerning trees which are deemed to be essential to the amenity/look of the area in question.
    Having said that, it is often the law abiding amongst us who apply for permission whilst those who just bang on regardless rarely seem to suffer any penalties.
    One particular example which springs to mind was a Grade 2 listed property for sale in a Conservation Area.  An offer went in and before any sale was agreed, contractors moved in and demolished the whole garden including large trees.  Their plan was apparently to erect a bungalow in the garden area.  Once they found out that as a burgage and planning would never be granted, they dropped out but the damage had been done.  No repercussions on either the person who made the original offer, the contractors or the Estate Agent involved ever came about.
     
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