Man fined for chopping down protected tree in Wilby

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A man has been prosecuted by Wellingborough Council for cutting down a mature walnut tree.

Keith Hanger removed the tree from the garden of 14 Doddington Road, Wilby, last October.

This tree was cut down without permission and without notification, which is against the law

Julie Thomas

The tree was included in a tree preservation order, meaning it was illegal to cut it down without permission.

Hanger pleaded guilty to the offence under section 210 of the Town and Country Planning Act at Northampton Magistrates Court.

He was fined £500 and also ordered to pay legal costs of £300 plus a £50 victim surcharge, making a total amount payable of £850.

Julie Thomas, head of planning and local development at Wellingborough Council said: “Tree preservation orders are put in place to protect certain trees where their removal would have a significant negative impact on the environment.

“If a tree is subject to an order it is illegal to cut down, uproot or wilfully destroy that tree without first discussing the issue with the council.

“Trees are living plants so obviously they do grow, and decline, and it’s reasonable that work will need to be done from time to time, even on those protected by a preservation order.

“But we need to be notified and an application must be made for work to a protected tree, which includes trees in a conservation area.

“This tree was cut down without permission and without notification, which is against the law.”