Published February 12, 2019 at 14:48
People are being urged to get permission before felling trees on their land, after prosecutions were brought by Rossendale Council against two men for removing trees with a value of around £22,000.
Land owner Matthew Cook appeared at Burnley Magistrates Court on Thursday, February 7 and pleaded guilty to felling 6 trees in a Cloughfold conservation area in August 2018.
Mr Cook was fined and ordered to pay Council costs.
His co-accused Joseph St Ledger failed to appear at court and a warrant was issued for him to appear at Burnley Magistrates at a later date.
The prosecutions were brought by Rossendale Council who said officers were called to conservation land to the west of Peel Street, Cloughfold on Thursday, August 23 last year after receiving a report of a large excavator carrying out engineering work and damaging and felling trees.
The driver of the excavation machine, Mr St Ledger, was advised by the officers to stop working. He said he had been given instructions from Mr Cook to create a road on the land.
Subsequent enquiries by the Council’s planning enforcement team together with an arboricultural expert revealed that a number of trees had been felled. Some of the trees were lying in situ whilst some had been removed from the land.
Mr Cook and Mr St Ledger were later interviewed under caution at Council offices where they admitted the removal of the trees without prior notification to the Council or planning permission.
Councillor Christine Lamb, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services, said:
Conservation areas are designated by the Council to protect the character of places with special architectural or historic interest. Before carrying out works on any trees, we would strongly advise you to check with us if it is okay to do so. As in this case, if you don’t you put yourself at risk of prosecution and a fine.