by Ian Yuill on 5 March, 2016
I was recently contacted by a number of residents concerned that several trees had been cut down on the west side of Craigielea Avenue. As Craigielea Avenue is part of a conservation area where landowners are supposed to contact the council before carrying out any work to trees, I raised the issue with council staff.
I have now received the following reply from a council Environmental Planner (I have removed the names of an individual and business):
“We have recently received and processed a notification for this property and it would appear that the additional work, the removal of the line of conifers, were meant to be included in this application.
“It would appear to have been a genuine oversight by the tree surgeons administration assistant who omitted the details when the application was submitted. I have known XXXXXX the owner of XXXXXXXX and his team for many years now and I am happy to accept that this was a genuine mistake on their part.
“In taking this forward we do have options available to us. The first question I ask myself in these circumstances is would we have prevented the works from taking place. You may be aware that as this is a conservation area the applicant is only required to give us six weeks prior notice before undertaking works. Should we wish to prevent the works we are required to serve a Tree Preservation Order. In considering that the line of trees were tall thin conifers growing in particularly close proximity to each other and a building I would not have sought to serve a TPO and prevent the works.
“Further to that I would have to question if this row of conifers are indeed protected by the Conservation Area status. The CA status seeks to protect trees. Considering the spacing of the conifers I would suggest that they were originally planted to form a hedge. Whether we constitute them as a line of individual trees or a hedge is clearly a debatable point. Personally I would lean towards them being a hedge. If this is the case no prior notification would be required.
“The property managers have instructed a beech hedge to be planted to replace the conifers; this was scheduled to take place this week but is currently on hold until they hear back from me. Given the points I have outlined above I am not inclined to take this matter any further. Other than to encourage the planting of the hedge as soon as possible.”
Hopefully the beech hedge will be planted as soon as possible.Leave a comment