CONSTRUCTION companies and tree surgeons have been warned to respect protected trees or risk hefty fines.
East Hampshire District Council has recently won a case after prosecuting a housing developer.
The council took action after Persimmon Homes and tree surgery company, Christopher Hoare Tree Services, damaged trees on a development in Holybourne, about 10 miles north of Petersfield.
The trees on site were protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) but, during construction, four trees had branches cut back leaving large wounds. Persimmon Homes and Christopher Hoare Tree Services – who were working under the instruction of Persimmon Homes – were prosecuted for flouting the TPO and fined just under £2,000 in total.
Goundworks company Galamast Ltd, damaged the roots of four trees as they built a footpath around the homes and were fined £300.
Stewart Garside, the council’s arboricultural officer, said: ‘East Hampshire District Council believes that protecting the local environment and landscape is very important.
‘Anyone, even the largest developers or tree surgery companies, will be pursued and prosecuted if they do not comply with the law and live up to the high standards expected by the council.’
Tree surgeons are advised to always check with the council in order to find out if trees are protected.