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Statement from Sutton Council regarding unauthorised tree works featuring in national media

Statement from Sutton Council regarding unauthorised tree works featuring in national media

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The tree in question was planted some 50 years ago and was placed under a Tree Preservation Order in 1980. It sits on common land adjacent to Mr Nicoletta’s garden.

In the opinion of an independent tree expert, the tree was relatively healthy and presented no risk of falling. Permission to fell the tree was therefore refused, but specified works were approved to be carried out in accordance with British Standards.

The tree work undertaken by Mr Nicoletta clearly exceeded the specified consent that was granted.

The tree had been cut in such a way as to dramatically reduce the length of the branches overhanging Mr Nicoletta’s garden. Cuts to the tree easily exceeded the agreed limits in the decision notice.

The consequence of this unauthorised work is that it will have a lasting effect on the public amenity value of the tree. Large open wounds to the tree will also make it more susceptible to decay.

It is thankfully a rare occurrence that the terms of authorised tree works are so blatantly ignored. Sutton Council therefore took the decision to proceed with prosecution.

The tree surgeon was fined £1,250 in his absence, ordered to pay costs of £850 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Mr Nicoletta’s full legal defence costs were covered by Crown Court Central Funds.