What price a view?
For Neil Davey, based in Poole, the beautiful vista of Poole Harbour was priceless. For Davey the view was a honeymoon gift to his new wife as they prepared for life together. But there was just one problem; Their view was obscured by a 55 year old Pine Tree.
Little matter the majestic 40ft Pine was subject of a Tree Preservation Order or that the tree was on neighboring property, Davey had different priorities. In the early hours of June 20th 2010 neighbours were awoken by a chainsaw revving, a tree splintering and a loud crash. The tree fell on a neighbouring wall, the saboteur had fled and a lengthy court case followed.
“The house shook, everything shook. It was as if something had hit the house.” — Steve Bransgrove
In court Davey and Tree Surgeon Thomas Mcguire were found guilty of the wilful destruction of a protected tree. Davey was fined £125,000 for the act, the largest fine of its nature in British judicial history. £50,000 was reserved for the estimated rise in property value. If property value was indeed a motive, Davey would be left to reflect on the false economy of this act.
The following video illustrates the role TPO’s play in the West:
Tree Presevation Orders Defined
Tree Preservation Orders are subject to the Town & Country Planning Act, 1990. TPO’s are usually filed in instances the tree is in immediate danger of being felled or damaged. This act can apply to trees, hedges and shrubs. Irrespective of your location in the UK, be that Swindon or further afield, you’ll need to contact your local planning authority to establish your rights.
Swindon, a town that is ever developing and expanding, has witnessed its own tree preservation controversies. A number of local companies have been found wanting in the eyes of the law. Ignorance is no defense, but a simple online search can be. Do your homework, lest your local tree surgeon doesn’t.