|Local woman fined thousands for cutting trees down
A woman from Hindley Green has been fined thousands of pounds after cutting down protected trees to make way for home improvements.
Mrs Lowe, formerly of Atherton Road, Hindley Green appeared before Wigan Magistrates Court last week (Tuesday 30th July) and admitted two offences of causing or permitting protected trees to be felled.
Wigan Council presented evidence suggesting that Mrs Lowe’s motivation for removing the trees was to secure planning consent for development.
In her defence, Mrs Lowe claimed that the trees had been felled as they presented a danger, yet just one month before, her tree consultant classed them as being in ‘good condition.'
Mrs Lowe was fined £1400.00 per tree, incurred costs of £500.00 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £140.00, giving an overall fine of £3440.00 to be paid in £200 monthly instalments. Mrs Lowe must also plant replacement trees.
Councillor David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: Wigan Council takes tree preservation very seriously because of the benefits they provide to the community and landscape.
Unauthorised lopping, felling or damaging of a protected tree is a serious offence under the Town and Country Planning Act. Thankfully it is a rare occurrence in Wigan, with approximately five or six preservation order offences investigated each year.
We strongly advise anyone wishing to carry out works to a protected tree to contact the council’s planning department first to avoid getting a fine.
The planning department can be contacted on: 01942 489249. Alternatively visit www.wigan.gov.uk and search ‘TPO’ for more information.