A Croft resident has been fined for carrying out unauthorised pruning work on a Sycamore tree covered by a Tree Preservation Order.
Following an investigation by East Lindsey District Council, Boston Magistrates Court imposed a fine and costs totalling £685 (£170 fine, £500 costs and a £15 victim surcharge), after hearing that Kenneth Beesley of Sunset View, Church Lane, Croft, arranged for work to be carried out despite the Council having refused his application two months earlier for the tree to be felled.
The court heard that members of the public were so concerned that they contacted the Council to report the works being carried out on November 3, 2010.
The Council visited the site and stopped the work from continuing. Both the property owner and his contractor were subsequently interviewed formally under caution, as carrying out unauthorised works to protected trees is a criminal offence, whether they are covered by a Tree Preservation Order or located in a Conservation Area.
In court Mr Beesley pleaded guilty to the offences made under section 210 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
Robert Taylor, Arboricultural Officer, said: ”The Council investigates all unauthorised work to protected trees and will always consider prosecution where there is evidence of an offence. This case has shown the high value that East Lindsey residents place on trees as part of the natural environment and demonstrated that we will take action where breaches of the law occur. It was unacceptable that this work was carried out and we would like to thank local people for alerting us to their concerns.”