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TPO confirmed but owner not informed

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One can get too hung up on righteous indignation and technical debate on the finer points of the law.


As I see it any Council in this situation who is found to have bungled, or realises that a JR will find them to have bungled, need only re-make the TPO correctly. The tree will therefore still be protected. Righteous indignation ensues, but still no cigar.


It would be a brave person who assumed that because the TPO was not properly served, and who admits on a public forum that he knows the TPO exists, fells it on a technicality. Even if the TPO process is deficient the Order might still be valid, and at best one might have had an ignorance defence against prosecution. Until now, that is.

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The offending polar...

And thanks so much for all your advice/comments so far.

The tree is about 60-80ft with, as you can see, a serious lean. The ground below has risen to form a mound comprised of very large bare roots (8” in diameter)

Our main objection is that the lean is towards a grade 2* listed tithe barn. Gov.uk says trees near national monuments should be discussed with HeritageEngland before slapping on a TPO. That didn’t happen either, planning committee not even seen the tree, or TO who only saw its amenity value from the road.

Have been advised about judiciary review but can’t afford it...

My view? What’s more important - a listed building or an big tree that can be seen from the main road...

Any advice?


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I’m guessing the poplar is behind the yew.

Got any other pics?


That root movement does look significant from here.

Edited by Mick Dempsey
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Tithe barn is behind the tree.

The lean is both to the right and back towards the barn.

Nice split in the big branch too!


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Well there are more knowledgeable people on here than me about TPOs and the law.


But I don’t like the look of that.


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I think you have been badly served on this, however how do you know it wasn't taken up with Heritage? I would get a tree report done on it and go from there, could be much more occurring  here than in a pic. K

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I could look it up but it's nearly time for tea...


Am trying to remember whether amongst the criteria for deeming a tree worthy of a TPO, a TO is supposed to consider defects, safety issues etc as a matter of course ie can they even put a TPO forward without having satisfied themselves of the absence/existence of such things?  I'm guessing that due to COVID-related restrictions on entering properties etc, the TO concerned (as hinted at by the OP) didn't inspect the tree other than from the road - hence issues with the root plate etc and proximity to targets were not properly observed?


I wonder who carries the liability in such cases where hurdles have, possibly incorrectly, been put in the way of removal and the tree then fails and causes damage?


Interesting one.

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Very interesting!

Will pursue a tree report, we know some of the branches are dead but the root system is a bit alarming...

It would appear the TPO was put on purely from viewing the tree from the road and deciding it was an amenity. In a village with many many falls trees. No visit to check its location or state of health.

At the moment I think if the tree falls and damages the tithe barn we are responsible - been trying to find out from the insurers but no one rung back yet. It’s not as if we haven’t warned anyone!

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