Wolverhampton City Council is urging residents not to do works to their trees without first checking to see if the tree is legally protected or in a conservation area.

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The message comes with a reminder free advice is available from the council on works to protected trees or trees in conservation areas - of which there are many in Wolverhampton - in a bid to help avoid potential prosecutions.

A recent case saw the owner of a Bilston property fined £1,500, plus £1,000 costs and a £120 surcharge for breaching a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

Mr Jugjit Singh Sunar pleaded guilty at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court, on Tuesday 23 June, to a single charge of wilful destruction of 4 silver birch trees outside his conversion of the former Kingdom Hall in Temple Street into 4 one bedroom apartments.

Charlotte Morrison, Wolverhampton City Council Section Leader - Planning, said: "Wolverhampton City Council takes its responsibility to protect trees very seriously.

"We are here to help anyone uncertain over whether their trees are protected or not.

"But owners of such trees should be aware we will prosecute them where they are found to have caused wilful damage or destruction to any protected tree, this includes trees within conservation areas - of which there are many in Wolverhampton."

Trees covered by a TPO are protected by the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012.

It is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage, or wilfully destroy any tree to which an order relates or cause or permit such activities without approval being granted by the council.

The council's Tree Officer is always happy to advise on works to protected trees or trees in conservation areas and can provide a list of approved tree surgeons and the relevant application forms and guidance notes.

Please contact Wolverhampton City Council on 01902 551155 for further information or email: customer.services@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

Tree owners could face substantial fines if work is carried out without consent.

  • released: Wednesday 1 July, 2015