root protection area

root protection area

Postby birchfella » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:04 pm

At the rear of my property on council land is a 50 ft birch with a TPO on it. This was done by the council 20 years ago to stop me cutting back the overhang. Since then I have had numerous running battles with the council over numerous issues regarding this tree ,with always the same outcome of the council doing nothing. Recently the field at the rear was purchased by builders who are proceeding to build houses on this site. I thought the tree with the TPO would come to my advantage as a root protection order was placed on this for 15 sq metres . A house is now being built 1.5 metres inside the RPA . I have informed the council who after looking at it said no roots have been affected so they will let it go this time . Can someone explain to me if this is right and also what the actual law is regarding Root Protection Areas as I have looked online and it is a very grey area with no definitive answers.
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Re: root protection area

Postby birchfella » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:07 pm

It is a beech tree ,not a birch, if this helps
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Re: root protection area

Postby mr sheen » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:30 pm

The developers will be working with the Tree Officer and the matter is between them.
The tree officer will determine what can and can't be done and what action if any to take in respect of the specific details of the tree.
Since you don't own the tree or the land that the tree stands on, you are a bystander with little clout.
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Re: root protection area

Postby birchfella » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:00 pm

The developers are chancing their arm and digging the footings inside the root protection area without informing the council and then hoping they will , as they have ,got away with it. When large houses are being built and there is money to be made the council suddenly don't seem that interested in a tree which has been untouchable for 20 years. Is there any law regarding building work being done inside a root protection area or is the RPA something which developers need to do to appease the tree department but then ignore.
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Re: root protection area

Postby mr sheen » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:02 pm

Causing damage to the tree could be a problem for him but it seems to have been determined that very little root damage has been caused.

Even if there were 'laws' being contravened then the enforcement of them becomes the issue.
In your case, the council refused to allow the branches to be cut because that could affect the aesthetic pleasure that the tree provides to the whole community and if you had breached this they would have prosecuted.

With root interference there is no adverse aesthetic impact and the tree would probably recover quickly so it's unlikely the council would intervene unless the tree is suffering long-term damage.

As a member if the public who doesn't own the land or the tree, the matter is more of a concerned citizen who can report their concerns to the council, but the council can decide what, if anything they want to do about it.
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Re: root protection area

Postby henners » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:12 am

[quote="mr sheen"]The developers will be working with the Tree Officer and the matter is between them.
The tree officer will determine what can and can't be done and what action if any to take in respect of the specific details of the tree.
Since you don't own the tree or the land that the tree stands on, you are a bystander with little clout.[/quote]

Is this fact?
The root protection area will have been a condition of planning approval. The tree is still protected and is still an amenity. In the same way that applications for works to protected tree are supposed to be subject to public consultation, then works to the protected tree in the context of building work should be subject to public consultation too. The council do not have the powers to modify planning consent (where it affects a third party) without public consultation nor do they have powers to grant consent for works to protected tree trees without public consultation.
That LA routinely tell the owners of protected trees, or their workmen, or their neighbours that they can do works to a tree without public consultation, is simply convenient for them - they should not do it.
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Re: root protection area

Postby APC » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:58 am

The Council don't have to consult you but they 'should consider it'.

RPA's are not law. All parts of the tree are protected regardless of that design tool. If the Council grant planning permission and that permission is implemented as per the approved plans, that provides for an exception.
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