Agenda and minutes

Appeals Committee
Friday, 7th March 2014 1.00 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Jane Glenton, Democratic Services: telephone (01524) 582068 or email  jglenton@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

7.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2013 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 27th June 2013 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

8.

Site Visits: Tree Preservation Order Nos. 523 (2013), 526 (2013) and 530 (2013)

Minutes:

Prior to commencement of the meeting, site visits were undertaken, as follows, in response to objections received:

 

·         Land adjacent to the railway and to the rear of numbers 25-47 Hazelmount Drive, Warton

·         Land adjacent to Darwen House, 52 Main Road, Bolton-le-Sands

·         Land to the east of Midland Terrace, Millhead, Carnforth

 

The following Members were present on the site visits:

 

Councillors Karen Leytham (Chairman), Mike Greenall, Billy Hill, Margaret Pattison and Roger Sherlock

 

Officers in Attendance:

 

Maxine Knagg                                    -                                    Tree Protection Officer

Jane Glenton                                     -                             Democratic Support Officer

9.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

10.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests.  (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)

 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10, and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register at this point in the meeting.

 

In accordance with Part B, Section 2, of the Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests, as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

Matters for Decision

11.

Tree Preservation Order No. 523 (2013) relating to an area of trees established on land adjacent to the railway and to the rear of numbers 25-47 Hazelmount Drive, Warton pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Report of the Chief Officer (Governance)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered formal written objections to a decision of the Council under Section 198 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (T&CPA 1990) making an Order in respect of an area of trees established on land under the control of Network Rail adjacent to the railway and to the rear of residential properties identified as numbers 25-47 Hazelmount Drive, Warton (identified as A1) being Tree Preservation Order (TPO) No. 523 (2013) and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order.

 

It was reported that Tree Preservation Order No. 523 (2013) had been served by Lancaster City Council following a complaint from a member of the public regarding damage and the felling of trees from within the site.  Concerns had been expressed that further damage may occur.

 

The land owners of the site and trees in question had not objected to TPO No. 523 (2013).  The City Council had received a letter of objection dated 13th October 2013, signed by residents at Nos. 27, 29, 31, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43 and 45 Hazelmount Drive, Warton.  The owner/occupiers at Nos. 25 and 43 Hazelmount Drive had made additional submissions objecting to TPO 523 (2013).  The owner/occupiers of 33 and 31 had submitted additional comments that did not constitute formal objections.

 

Appellants

 

Appellants from Hazelmount Drive were present at the meeting, and Owen Richards of 29 Hazelmount Drive, Ann Blundell of 43 Hazelmount Drive, Gerry Bingham of 41 Hazelmount Drive and Charles Wilkinson of 37 Hazelmount Drive spoke to the Committee.  Members considered the written objections received from the residents of 27-47 Hazelmount Drive, as follows:

 

·         The condition of the trees was poor to fair, due to a lack of management, adding little or no amenity value to residents, and could not be appreciated by the general passing public, because there was no right of way.  There were sufficient healthier, larger, more established trees in the area for residential/public enjoyment.

 

·         The trees currently formed a nuisance and would be a future nuisance to residents and their properties, and had clearly outgrown their context, having an adverse effect on adjacent trees of better quality.

 

·         The trees were in secondary growth, due to being cut down approximately 10 years ago, and had a limited lifespan due to invasive host plants, such as ivy.

 

·         A Tree Preservation Order on the trees would drastically reduce residents’ enjoyment of their gardens due to lack of sunshine/light, and would prevent other plant growth.

 

The owner of 25 Hazelmount Drive had written in objection and had commented as follows:

 

·         If any of the trees affected by the Order became overbearing, thus having a detrimental effect on the use and enjoyment of the owner’s property, they would have the freedom to attend to the same.  Network Rail had attended to any problematic trees at their request in a timely manner, and they felt that having to obtain the Council’s consent would be time-consuming, inconvenient and unnecessary.

 

·         If the trees were not properly maintained, the saleability of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

The Chairman advised that with the agreement of Members, the following item of business would be brought forward to allow the Appellant’s Agent to present his case and leave the meeting.

12.

Tree Preservation Order No. 530 (2013) relating to an area of woodland comprised of mixed broadleaf species trees, established on land to the east of Midland Terrace, Millhead, Carnforth pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Report of Chief Officer (Governance)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the objections received to a decision of the Council under Section 198 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 making an order in respect of an area of woodland comprised of mixed broadleaf species trees, established on land to the east of Midland Terrace, Millhead, Carnforth, and identified as A1, being Tree Preservation Order No. 530 (2013), and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order.

 

It was reported that the City Council had received a single, formal, written objection from Cassidy and Ashton, Tree Planning Consultants, on behalf of the landowner, Ocean Wave Estates Ltd.

 

Tree Preservation Order No. 530 (2013) had been served following Lancaster City Council becoming aware that a large volume of trees had been felled within the site.  Concerns had been expressed to the Council that this work had been carried out over a weekend period and had resulted in devastation of the landscape.  When the Council had visited, a huge volume of early mature and mature trees had already been felled, utterly devastating the site in question. 

 

Whilst the trees were not protected at that time, there was a legal requirement to obtain a licence from the Forestry Commission prior to undertaking large scale felling operations, where the volume of timber was expected to be 5 cubic metres or greater in any quarter period.  The landowner had failed to make any such application and it was understood from the Forestry Commission that the large scale loss of unauthorised timber, in excess of 13 tonnes covering an area of .89 hectares, was currently being investigated.  The Council had received no indication from the landowners that the large scale loss of trees was to occur.  The Council had since been advised by the agent acting on behalf of the landowner that an application was likely to be submitted for development of the land in question at a future time.

 

Appellant

 

Present at the meeting was Mr. Alban Cassidy, Town and Country Planning Consultant, of Cassidy and Ashton, agents for the Appellant and landowners, Ocean Wave Estates Ltd.

 

Mr. Cassidy presented the case on behalf of the Appellant, and advised Members that the Appellant did not object to the whole of the TPO, only that relating to the area to the far west of the overall site, where recent clearance works had been undertaken.  This area of land contained no trees worthy of protection by virtue of any amenity value.

 

In his opinion, the Appellant had not committed any breach of planning control.  It had been alleged that there had been a breach of the felling regime.  The Forestry Commission had been consulted and the potential for restocking had been identified. 

 

Mr. Cassidy reported that United Utilities had recently notified the Appellant of their proposal to install a storm attenuation tank on part of the site in question over the next three years.  The Forestry Commission had been notified and a suitable area would need to be identified for the restocking to take  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

The Committee adjourned at 3.30 p.m. and reconvened at 3.35 p.m.

13.

Tree Preservation Order No. 526 (2013) relating to a single tree established on County Council Land adjacent to Darwen House, 52 Main Road, Bolton-le-Sands pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of Chief Officer (Governance)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered an objection received to a decision of the Council under Section 198 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (T&CPA 1990) making an Order in respect of a single mature maple established on County Council land adjacent to Darwen House, 52 Main Road, Bolton-le-Sands and to the front of Bolton-le-Sands Library, being Tree Preservation Order No. 526 (2013), and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order.

 

It was reported that Lancaster City Council had received a Section 211 Notice (13/0108/TCA) to undertake works to the canopy of the tree in question, in order to alleviate an existing conflict between branches and structures of the adjacent private dwelling.  The proposed work had been assessed and judged to be excessive and inappropriate with regard to the age and species of tree in question and current standards of best practice, BS 3998 (2010) – Tree Work.  The work would have resulted in a severely compromised tree in terms of stability, health, vitality and long-term sustainability, which would have significant potential to adversely affect its amenity and that of its locality.

 

The Council had objected to the extent of works proposed and had considered it to be expedient in the interests of amenity to make TPO No. 526 (2013) and protect and safeguard the future of the tree in question. 

 

A single, formal, written letter of objection had subsequently been received from
Mr. M. Garnett of 52 Main Road, Bolton-le-Sands dated 13 October 2013.  Mr. Garnett was not present at the meeting.

 

Appellant

 

Members considered the written objections received from the Appellant, Mr. Garnett, as follows:

 

·         Such a close proximity caused both a current potential future risk to the foundations of the house and therefore potential future legal liability to Lancashire County Council.

 

·         Damp issues were caused on the roof and gable end wall by the tree overhanging the property; the property had recently been repointed due to blown render in the locality of the tree, due to an excessive collection of organic dead matter on the roof and in the guttering, with an ongoing maintenance problem with plants and foliage growing in the collected matter, undermining the integrity of the roof, causing dampness inside the bedrooms to the first and second floors (a recent insurance claim had been required to replace furniture which had been damaged), and under the shade of the overhanging boughs there was no opportunity for this area of the property to dry out.

 

Tree Protection Officer

 

The Tree Protection Officer presented the case on behalf of Lancaster City Council.

 

Members were advised that TPO No. 526 (2013) related to a single, mature maple established on land immediately adjacent to a private dwelling known as Darwen House, 52 Main Road, Bolton-le-Sands.  The tree was growing on land under the control of Lancashire County Council, to the front of Bolton-le-Sands Library.  The tree was clearly visible from the public domain and, as such, made a positive contribution to the visual amenity of the site  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.