Don't underestimate the value of trees in Cheshire!
What Angelo Esposito didn’t realise when he ordered work men to dig up a tree that was located in his garden on Eaton Road, Cheshire is that it would cost him a massive £28,000!
This was not the fee of the work men but the cost of the fine issued by Cheshire West & Chester Council because that tree was a protected yew tree.
Mr Esposito wanted the tree removing from the front garden of a property that he was renting out so he could create more parking space for his tenants and charge more rent. However, when the work was carried out on the garden without permission, the tree was damaged so badly that it was chopped down.
Chester Crown Court was told that Mr Angelo, 35 knew full well that the work to his front garden would be detrimental to the protected tree and would end in it being felled.
The tree was protected by a tree preservation order for the particular area of Hanbridge and after Angelo Esposito’s first application was withdrawn for the tree works he was told that he needed full planning permission before going ahead due to the scale of the works planned.
When neighbours complained to Cheshire West & Chester Council when work began on the property on Eaton Road, inspectors from the council visited the property almost immediately and discovered that there was extensive damage including exposed roots and as a result the tree was openly unsafe and could fall any time.
Mr Esposito pleaded guilty to contravening the tree preservation order and was ordered to pay back £13,750 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, pay £4,896 in prosecution costs and was also fined £10,000. The value the extra car parking space has added to the property on Eaton Road is £12,500 to £15,000 according to a chartered surveyor.
Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
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