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roythegrass

TPO application. Report v Decision

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I’m a householder not an arborist.
Following a report from an arborist showing decay in the trunk of a TPO oak we applied for permission to have the tree pruned to alleviate stress and load on the trunk.

The council were due to make a formal decision by 3rd December but to date the matter remains undecided.
However the council have issued an online “Report” stating that the works should be carried out as per the arborists specification without any objections or conditions including words such as “Approved” and “consent is valid”. However the council’s report also states “intended decision”.
At best this is contradictory.
A layman would accept the council’s report as a determination and proceed with the works but given that it remains undecided I’m inclined to await a formal decision notice. The council have not replied to my emails requesting clarification.

Thoughts?

 

 

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 It sounds like all you have seen is an internal repot of handling that indicates mindedness to approve. If so, it's not approval and you shouldn't proceed with the works yet. You have a right to appeal the non-decision, after 8 weeks from application. And just be careful here. You can appeal any time after that if you don't get any decision, but if you get a late decision that you don't like, you only have 28 days form the decision to appeal.

Here's where it makes a difference where you are. Someone recently said the period for appeal turnaround in England is about 8 months!

You could always appeal in the hope that it would hasten a decision, but i doubt it would. 

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As Jules says, what you have is a report. How decisions are made will depend on the councils constitution. Some delegate the decision to officers, some make decisions at the relevant committee. Yours appears to be the latter.

 

The reports are generally published a week in advance of the meeting where a decision is to be made. Once the committee has made its decision you will be informed fairly soon after. Only once you have received the decision letter should you go ahead. The committee may afterall take a different view to the officer who wrote the report.

 

One disadvantage of the committee system is that it doesn't operate around the application dates so they can run over. Delegated decision making is more flexible.

 

Appealing won't speed up the decision making process, quite the opposite. Once you've appealed it's not the councils decision to make anymore. Appeal waiting times should be reducing as the new arb NSI's start working, but it's probably quicker to wait for the council.

 

Regards the lack of correspondence, try phoning them.

 

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Surely at the minute there are no grounds to appeal, you have looked at notes, probably done by the Tree Officer to the Planners who will then make the decision based on the advice.

(In my experience Planners know 2 things about Trees - nothing and F%$£ all...)

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1 hour ago, Anno said:

Surely at the minute there are no grounds to appeal, you have looked at notes, probably done by the Tree Officer to the Planners who will then make the decision based on the advice.

(In my experience Planners know 2 things about Trees - nothing and F%$£ all...)

If the decision due date was 3 December 2019 then we're now at 12 weeks since the application was registered as valid. Appealing on the grounds of non-determination is possible.

 

Signing off decisions varies from council to council. Again it will depend on the scheme of delegation set out in the constitution. I've worked at councils where I could sign off the decision, and at councils where it was the job of one of my managers to sign decisions off. Whilst decisions including the officers reasoning, should be public, as should committee reports, I doubt internal memos would be.

 

However, as is often the case we have limited information to inform our replies. And this thread is no different.

 

Stating that planners know two things about trees is being rather generous. I often wonder if they know what a tree is.

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22 hours ago, roythegrass said:

I’m a householder not an arborist.
Following a report from an arborist showing decay in the trunk of a TPO oak we applied for permission to have the tree pruned to alleviate stress and load on the trunk.

The council were due to make a formal decision by 3rd December but to date the matter remains undecided.
However the council have issued an online “Report” stating that the works should be carried out as per the arborists specification without any objections or conditions including words such as “Approved” and “consent is valid”. However the council’s report also states “intended decision”.
At best this is contradictory.
A layman would accept the council’s report as a determination and proceed with the works but given that it remains undecided I’m inclined to await a formal decision notice. The council have not replied to my emails requesting clarification.

Thoughts?

 

 

 

Give us the planning application number and name of the council and then we can see the source documentation. Is the ‘report’ you have seen posted online or is it something you have acquired through other sources?

 

You never know, the appropriate TO may even see the thread here and be so distraught at having their laundry aired in public that they chivvy things along....

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9 hours ago, Anno said:

(In my experience Planners know 2 things about Trees - nothing and F%$£ all...)

Sadly this is all too true with respect to all the local councils I deal with.

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On 02/01/2020 at 17:35, EdwardC said:

Appealing won't speed up the decision making process, quite the opposite. Once you've appealed it's not the councils decision to make anymore. Appeal waiting times should be reducing as the new arb NSI's start working, but it's probably quicker to wait for the council.

I might be dreaming, but I thought that in the past if the LA determined an application after a ND appeal was initiated, the appeal just stopped? Has something changed or has this always been the case, that PINs determine the application.

 

"Appeal waiting times should be reducing as the new arb NSI's start working"

A recent communication I received said that that although, currently, the Fast-track system was at 33 weeks and new inspectors were being employed it was unlikely that they would reduce the time span for recent appeals. 

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