Crawley man fined for cutting down protected trees

editorial image
0
Have your say

A man has been fined for cutting down protected trees.

Muzaffar Hussain, 45, of Grattons Drive, Pound Hill, was convicted of causing the destruction of five protected Leyland cypress trees.

Hussain, who denied the charge, was fined £2,500, with a victim surcharge of £120 and costs of £3,325.

Chichester Magistrates’ Court heard evidence on Tuesday (28 July) from Crawley Borough Council’s Senior planning investigation officer that he had visited Mr Hussain twice in June 2014.

On the second occasion a copy of a tree preservation order covering the premises, together with a letter explaining that to carry out works to any of the trees without permission would be a criminal offence, was served to Hussain.

The court heard that three days later Mr Hussain engaged the services of a tree surgeon, falsely claiming that the council had confirmed that works could go ahead, resulting in the felling of five trees. Further destruction was only averted by the intervention of a neighbour who told the tree surgeon that the trees were protected, leading to his stopping work immediately, said coumcil spokesman.

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “Crawley takes seriously its responsibility to preserve the amenity value provided by trees and will take action against people who wilfully flout the law.

“We also have the power to require the offender to replace the trees that he has destroyed and a notice to this effect is in the process of being prepared.”

Works to protected trees require planning permission, for which the application must be made to Crawley Borough Council.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.crawleyobserver.co.uk

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crawleyobserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @Crawley_Obby

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Crawley Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.