Developer 'fined £300,000 for felling protected trees'

Reports that a property developer and his company have been fined £300,000 "after felling one of Britain's oldest giant redwoods" feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription) reports that "Fiorenzo Sauro, the director of Enzo’s Homes, deliberately breached a protection order when he paid for the ‘irreplaceable’ 176-year-old tree to be cut down in November, a court was told." The paper says that he employed a tree surgeon, "to fell the 90ft (27m) redwood and 69 other protected trees in ancient woodland in Penllergaer, Swansea, which bordered land on which he wanted to build a housing estate."

The Times also reports that "a tiny strip of land between wealthy neighbours on a 'Millionaires’ Row' is the subject of a court battle that could result in a new £3 million house being partially demolished". The paper says that "Tom and Helen Gueterbock say their neighbours staged a ‘land grab’ when they built a luxurious home on what was once a Luftwaffe bombsite next door, encroaching on their territory by 30cm (12in)."

An article in The Financial Times (subscription) says that "campaigners and politicians have branded the UK government’s long awaited plans for protecting the environment as ‘toothless’ and lacking in ambition". The paper says that, "in a wide ranging bill published on Tuesday, the government set out plans to reduce plastic pollution, set new targets for air and water quality and improve biodiversity". But it adds that "critics immediately rounded on the bill over plans for a new environmental regulator which they said did not have sufficient powers to punish those who breach the new standards or fail to hit the UK’s green targets".

The FT also reports that political and business leaders across northern England have warned ministers against cuts to the High Speed Two rail line. The paper says that a report commissioned by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a lobby group established by former chancellor George Osborne, said the full network would catalyse regional growth and stimulate "transformational economic change".

An article in the FT looks at how Nottingham’s workplace parking levy has helped cut air pollution in the city. The piece says that "the UK’s only workplace parking levy has priced many drivers off the road but it is popular because the money is invested in public transport and the city’s air is becoming cleaner".

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