Crown reduction would give rise to unnatural appearance of trees

Plans to reduce the crowns of four protected trees in greater Manchester were denied after an inspector agreed with the council that it would give them an unnatural 'lollipop' appearance.

The appellant argued that there was a significant risk of the trees toppling in high winds onto his house and that of his neighbour. In order to reduce the risk the crowns would be reduced by 50 per cent which would mainly involve removing the lower branches. The council asserted that this was excessive and each would have a highly unnatural appearance.

Some dead wood was observed by the inspector at his site visit but these were secondary branches and no more than might be expected. Where branches had been removed the wounds had healed and none of the trees appeared to be in poor health. Nor were they isolated or particularly prone to falling in high winds. Accordingly, the works were not necessary to protect peoples’ safety or property.

Inspector: Stephen Brown; Hearing


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