Application for Determination: -
To fell a protected Cedar tree.
The Arboriculturist presented the report detailing an application to fell a protected cedar tree.
The property owner spoke in opposition to the officer’s recommendation on the grounds that the tree was too large, represented a danger to life and that large branches had previously fallen.
The Solicitor responded to members questions regarding liability if there was significant damage done to the tree as follows:
- It was the landowners responsibility to ensure that the tree was sufficiently safe. However, there were very limited circumstances where the Local Planning Authority may have to pay for compensation within 12 months of refusal of consent.
- The question of liability was based on whether loss/damage was reasonably foreseeable at the time consent was refused. Given the applicant’s Arboriculturists report does not recommend felling and simply recommends pruning combined with the outcome of the officer’s site visit, officer’s report and presentation it would seem unlikely that loss/damage would be reasonably foreseeable at this stage provided the recommended works are carried out by the landowner, but ultimately whether loss/damage is reasonably foreseeable is a matter for the Council’s Arboriculturist.
The Arboriculturist agreed with the Solicitors comments and responded to members questions as follows:
- The applicant could appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate within 28 days of the decision if the committee refused the application to fell.
- If a branch suddenly became unsafe, there would be no need to make a formal application for removal.
- A member stated that she agreed with the officer’s recommendation.
- The Vice-Chair said that he had sympathy with the property owner, as it was a large tree. However, he added that he agreed with the tree officer that it was a healthy tree and therefore, he would support the officer’s recommendation.
- A member said that she echoed the Vice-Chair’s comments.
- A member noted that he believed that it was a difficult decision and had sympathy with the property owner but was leaning towards supporting the officer’s recommendation.
The Chair moved, and the Vice-Chair seconded the Officer’s recommendation.
RESOLVED THAT: - The application to fell the tree is refused.