Agenda and minutes

Appeals Committee
Monday, 24th April 2017 1.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

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

Items
No. Item

14.

Site Visits: Tree Preservation Orders No. 589 (2016) and No. 595 (2017)

Minutes:

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), Tracy Brown, Janice Hanson, Joan Jackson, Terrie Metcalfe and Peter Yates.

 

Officers in Attendance:

 

Maxine Knagg

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Tree Protection Officer

Jane Glenton

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Democratic Support Officer

 

15.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the 2016/17 municipal year.

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Brown and seconded by Councillor Hanson that Councillor Metcalfe be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Appeals Committee for the Municipal Year 2016/17.  There being no further nominations, the Chairman declared the proposal to be carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That Councillor Metcalfe be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Appeals Committee for the Municipal Year 2016/17.

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 March 2016 (copy attached) 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 17th March 2016 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

17.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

18.

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 9 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:

Members were advised of the following declaration of interest:

 

Councillor Yates declared an interest in Minute No. 18 – Tree Preservation Order No. 589 (2016) – The Corner House, Woodwell Lane, Silverdale – having relatives who lived in the vicinity.  Councillor Yates advised that he would leave the meeting room during discussion of the item and would not discuss or vote on the matter.

Matters for Decision

Councillor Yates had previously declared an interest in the following item and left the meeting room during its consideration and did not vote on the matter.

19.

Tree Preservation Order No. 589 (2016) - The Corner House, Woodwell Lane, Silverdale pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Democratic Services Manager to enable Members to consider the objections received to Tree Preservation Order No. 589 (2016) in relation to a single tree established within the curtilage of The Corner House, Woodwell Lane, Silverdale, and woodland trees established on immediately adjacent land understood to be under the control of the local Parish Council, and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order. 

 

Members were advised that Lancaster City Council had made Emergency Tree Preservation Order No. 589 (2016) on 5th December 2016, following receipt of a complaint from a member of the public concerning a large number of trees that had been felled from within the curtilage of The Corner House, Woodwell Lane, Silverdale. 

 

The Order had been made and served to safeguard the remaining trees, known as Area A1, with immediate effect.  The Area comprised two individual trees, T1 – Ash, T2 – Holly and W1 and W2 – two compartments of mixed species woodland trees.

 

The Council had received a letter in objection to the Order from Mrs. Adele Higham (dated 1st January 2017), which was accompanied by a petition supporting the objection to the Order, and a letter in objection from Mr. and Mrs. Spenley (dated 12th January 2017).

 

Two letters had been received in support of the Order from Mrs. Lucy Scrase (dated 1st January 2017) and Mr. Guy Booth and his mother (dated 17th February 2017).

 

In determining whether or not to confirm the Tree Preservation Order, Members considered the letters received, which were set out in the Agenda, and heard representations from Mr. Chris Boardman, partner of Mrs. Adele Higham, speaking in objection to the Order, and Mr. Guy Booth, speaking in support.

 

Mr. Chris Boardman (Objector)

 

Mr. Boardman informed Members that he and Mrs. Higham had bought The Corner House for their retirement.  The property and garden had been neglected for many years.  As part of the renovation works, they planned to clear the garden, which had become a jungle, to make it aesthetically pleasing and attract wildlife.  They had made wide-ranging enquiries and had taken professional advice in order to do this.

 

Due to a leaning tree, their furniture van had been unable to access their drive.  Photographs of the tree were circulated at the meeting.  In order to follow the correct procedure, Mr. Boardman had contacted Lancashire County Council and carried out a Land Charges search to see who was responsible for the tree.  Correspondence from the County Council was circulated for Members to read.

 

Following further enquiries, Mr. Boardman had found out that the Parish Council was responsible and had contacted them.  The Parish Council had proposed that the leaning tree could be cut down to its base, and had referred to the fir trees on the verge, which were affecting the overhead cables supplying The Corner House.  The Parish Council suggested that they be removed and advised that they did not have the funding for this.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

Councillor Yates returned to the meeting room at this point.

20.

Tree Preservation Order No. 595 (2017) - 51 Meadow Park, Galgate pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Democratic Services Manager to enable Members to consider the objection received to Tree Preservation Order No. 595 (2017) in relation to a single Beech tree (T1) established within the curtilage of 51 Meadow Park, Galgate, and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order. 

 

Members were advised that 51 Meadow Park backed onto Lancaster Canal, which was designated a Biological Heritage Site (BHS).  T1 was growing at the furthest point from the main dwelling and sat immediately adjacent to the Canal.  The Beech tree could be seen from the wider public domain, notably from the waterway and its associated towpath.

 

The tree owner had made Lancaster City Council aware of concerns that the tree could be under threat from injudicial pruning to control overhanging branches.  Following an assessment, Tree Preservation Order No. 595 (2017) had been made on 7th February 2017.

 

The Council had received a letter of objection to the Tree Preservation Order, dated 2nd March 2017, from Mr. A. J. Hargreaves.  A further letter, dated 14th April 2017, had been received from Mr. Hargreaves, advising that he was unable to attend the hearing and reiterating his objections to the Order.  The letter had been circulated to Members prior to the hearing.

 

In determining whether or not to confirm Tree Preservation Order No. 595 (2017), Members considered the points raised in Mr. Hargreaves’ letters, and had the opportunity to raise questions regarding them.

 

Lancaster City Council’s Tree Protection Officer

 

The Tree Protection Officer reported that T1 was a large, mature Beech tree established within the curtilage of 51 Meadow Park, Galgate, to the rear of the property and close to the Canal. 

 

Members were advised that the tree was an important element of the BHS, contributing to the development and maintenance of the green corridor along the canal and the creation of important opportunities for wildlife.  T1 had the potential to provide habitat and foraging opportunities for protected species, such as nesting birds and bats, both groups being protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended (2010).

 

The tree was highly visible from the wider public domain, notably the foot and towpaths along the Canal.  The tree had grown to attain large proportions, such that it was now a dominant landscape feature.

 

T1 had been assessed using a TEMPO system and had attained a score of 14 - Tree Preservation Order defensible.

 

Lancaster City Council had considered it expedient in the interests of amenity to make provision for the preservation of T1 under Sections 198, 201 and 203 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.  The Order had been made to ensure the safe retention and protection of T1 long into the future, subject to its good health, vitality and stability, and it was recommended that the Tree Preservation Order be confirmed without modification. 

 

Following the Tree Protection Officer’s representation on behalf of Lancaster City Council, Members of the Committee had the opportunity to question the Tree Protection  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.