Prosecution over breach of Tree Preservation Order

Press Release: 29/04/2015

Winchester City Council has successfully prosecuted Andrew Gates Ltd and Colten Care Ltd over breach of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in Stanmore Lane, Winchester.

The Council takes the matter of protecting trees across the district very seriously and wants to send a clear message that, where appropriate, firm action will be taken if Tree Preservation Orders are breached in the Winchester district.

A hearing took place at Basingstoke Magistrates on Tuesday 21 April 2015.

Andrew Gates Ltd pleaded guilty to cutting down a pine tree at St Catherine’s View in Stanmore Lane on 22 May 2014 in contravention of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, while Colten Care Ltd pleaded guilty to causing or permitting the cutting down of the tree.

The matter was listed for a two-day trial due to take place in May as both defendants pleaded not guilty at the first hearing. At the Readiness for Trial Hearing on Tuesday 21 April they changed their plea and admitted guilt.

The defendants were ordered to pay costs of £900. Andrew Gates Ltd, being responsible for undertaking the works, was given a six months conditional discharge. Winchester City Council considers this a good outcome that may deter others from carrying out unauthorised works to protected trees.

Tree officers and the Council’s legal team worked hard in putting the case together to secure these convictions.