Hounslow residents have been fined by a judge for illegally cutting down an 80 year old tree.
Published: Friday, 4th November 2022
Two residents from Isleworth and a Stanmore-based waste removal contractor have been fined more than £5,000 for felling a mature tree in Osterley.
The mature tree was in a protected conservation area and is estimated to have been over 80 years old. The Council’s Planning Enforcement Team were alerted to the incident of the felled tree and led the investigations.
The three parties were ordered by a judge to pay fines and costs in the sum of £1,680 each, totalling £5,040 for causing significant harm to the community and the environment. Outlining why she had given this punishment, the judge at Uxbridge Magistrates Court highlighted Hounslow Council’s climate emergency declaration and the role trees play in protecting the environment.
Reacting to the court judgement Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development at Hounslow Council, said:
“This case is another stark reminder to residents that the correct procedures must be followed when carrying out home improvement work on your property or when hiring contractors.
“The Council has a zero-tolerance approach to this type of crime, which harms the community and the environment. Nobody wants to be hit with an easily avoidable fine like this, especially during the cost of living crisis.”
Hounslow is home to a rich urban forest with more than 383 tree species and over 124,000 trees owned and managed by the Council alone. Trees are one of the most effective ways of reducing carbon in the atmosphere, while also encouraging biodiversity and greener communities for residents to live in. The Council recently announced the return of the ‘Free Trees for Hounslow’ initiative, which offers 1,000 free fruit trees to residents, schools, and allotment holders to plant.
Each year, the Council plants thousands of new trees but some don’t survive due to vandalism or theft. If residents see this happening, it can be reported to the Council by visiting www.hounslow.gov.uk/report.
Councillor Katherine Dunne, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport Strategy at Hounslow Council added:
“Trees play a major role in mitigating against the effects of climate change and making our borough a greener and healthier place to live, which is why punishments for cutting down trees illegally is so important.
“With COP27 (the world’s biggest annual climate conference) just around the corner we have once again committed to making tangible changes by planting 7,500 trees this year, including one for every child born in the borough and doubling our free tree offer so that even more residents can get involved.”
For more information about Free Trees for Hounslow please visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/free-trees
For more information on planning and building regulations in the borough visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/planning.