Venue: Morecambe Town Hall
Contact: Jane Glenton, Democratic Services: telephone (01524) 582068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Site Visits: Tree Preservation Orders No. 555 (2015) and No. 59 (2015)
Prior to commencement of the meeting, site visits were undertaken in response to objections received to the two Tree Preservation Orders.
The following Members were present on the site visits:
Councillors Claire Cozler (Chairman), Janice Hanson, Joan Jackson, Karen Leytham, Roger Sherlock and Peter Yates.
Officers in Attendance:
Appointment of Vice-Chairman
To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the 2015/16 municipal year.
It was proposed by Councillor Jackson and seconded by Councillor Leytham that Councillor Helme be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Appeals Committee for the Municipal Year 2015/16. There being no further nominations, the Chairman declared the proposal to be carried.
That Councillor Helme be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Appeals Committee for the Municipal Year 2015/16.
Minutes of the meeting held on 30 April 2015 (previously circulated)
The minutes of the meeting held on 30th April 2015 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman
There were no items of urgent business.
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 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.
There were no declarations of interest.
The Chairman advised that the Agenda would be re-ordered in consideration of the Appellant’s representative being present at the hearing for Tree Preservation Order No. 559 (2015).
Report of Chief Officer (Governance)
The Committee considered a formal written objection to a decision of Lancaster City Council under Section 198 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 making an Order in respect of an area of trees established within the Riverside Caravan Park, Lancaster Road, Heaton-with-Oxliffe, identified as A1 and being Tree Preservation Order (TPO) No. 559 (2015), and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order.
It was reported that the Council had made the said TPO on 28th September 2015, following Riverside Caravan Park being identified for potential development. Trees within the site had been unprotected and at risk of removal prior to the submission of Planning Application No. 15/00626/FUL for the siting of static caravans for holiday occupation for 12 months of the year. The application proposed the felling of swathes of trees to accommodate the proposed development. The Planning Application had been refused by the Council. Two reasons had been given for refusal, both of which related to the adverse impact of the proposed tree losses on the wider public domain and inadequate mitigation measures.
The written objection had been received from Ms. Rachel Whaley of GVA Leeds, Planning Agents acting on behalf of the landowner, Britaniacrest Limited (the Appellant). Ms. Whaley was present at the meeting.
In determining whether or not to confirm the Order, Members heard representations from Ms. Whaley on behalf of the Appellant.
The Appellant’s representative advised Members that, in her opinion, TPO No. 559 (2015) had been wrongly served. Planning application no. 15/00626/FUL would not have resulted in the large-scale loss of important trees that made a significant contribution to the character of the area. It would have been appropriate to protect those trees through conditions imposed on the planning application, had it been granted, for example conditions relating to landscaping and an arboricultural method statement.
AWA Tree Consultants had been commissioned by the Appellant to carry out a full tree survey and tree constraints plan for the site, which had shown that none of the trees on site was considered to be of high amenity value, but of low or moderate value.
With reference to the trees and groups of trees identified on AWA’s tree constraints plan, G39, G38, T40 and T41 could not be seen from outside the site. G4, G5, T7, G8, G9, G10, T11 and G12 did not feature on views outside the site. There was already planning permission in place on this part of the site for the siting of static caravans and it was felt that a TPO should not be served on this part of the site.
Other groups of trees around the site boundary were not under threat from development proposals. None of these trees had been identified as being of high amenity value. The landowner intended to retain them for landscape screening around the site.
In the Appellant’s representative’s opinion, the methodology used in the Tree Evaluation Method for Preservation Orders (TEMPO) to assess the amenity value of trees contained within ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Report of the Chief Officer (Governance)
The Committee considered a formal written objection to a decision of Lancaster City Council under Section 198 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 making an Order in respect of two mature trees established within the curtilage of Shenstone, The Green, Over Kellet, identified as T1 and T2 and being Tree Preservation Order (TPO) No. 555 (2015), and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order.
It was reported that the Council had made TPO No. 555 (2015) on 3rd September 2015 following the Council’s objection to the removal of two mature sycamore trees, the subject of a Section 211 notification no. 15/0105/TCA. Both trees had been found to be free from significant pests, disease and structural defects to otherwise justify their removal. Both trees were considered to have important public amenity and wildlife value to justify their ongoing retention and protection.
The formal written objection had been received from the property owner and Appellant, Mr. Paul Maguire.
Members were advised that the Appellant had been unable to attend the Appeal hearing due to being away on holiday at the time of the meeting. In determining whether or not to confirm the Order, Members considered a written representation submitted by the Appellant, which had been emailed to Members prior to the meeting. A paper copy of the written representation was circulated at the meeting and considered by Members.
In his written representation, the Appellant had advised the Committee as follows:
· The TEMPO Assessment score was 15. The Appellant’s understanding was that a TEMPO score of 16+ merited a definite TPO, and that a score of 12 to 15 meant that a TPO was ‘defensible’. Therefore objective scoring did not show a ‘definite’ TPO.
· The two sycamores, T1 and T2, dominated the domestic garden, and were out of proportion for a domestic garden. They were not native trees.
· The size of the root footprint and its proximity to the house was of concern to the Appellant, as was the tree falling in severe weather and causing injury, or even death.
· The canopy in the summer was enormous and blocked a significant amount of light in the Appellant’s garden and those of his neighbours. His neighbours had written to the Council in support of the Appellant’s application and the Appellant asked that this be taken into consideration.
· Much emphasis was given to the effect of trees on the local amenity within a Conservation Area. The trees were only just visible from the Green to the front of the house. If the sycamores were felled, the native oak and beech would thrive. The oak, in particular, was showing signs of distress, as acknowledged by the Tree Protection Officer, who had advised the Appellant that if he was unsuccessful in his application to fell the sycamores, should consider an application to fell the native oak.
· Wildlife would continue to thrive if the sycamores were felled. There were two mature beech trees, two rowan trees and a large oak and ... view the full minutes text for item 7.