Injunction retained to prevent protected tree felling

The High Court has confirmed continuance of an injunction sought by a Hertfordshire council to prevent felling of protected trees and other work at a site where there had been a clear breach of planning control.

The lawful use of the land was for forestry and no permission had been granted for any development. Nonetheless, a number of trees had been felled and the timber removed, in contravention of a tree preservation order (TPO). The council sought an injunction under sections 187B and 214A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to restrain unauthorised works, including ground excavation and erection of fencing as well as felling of trees.

The local authority asserted that access to the site to facilitate felling and other works had been a via a traveller site that had been granted retrospective permission after one of the defendants had, without permission, cleared trees, laid hardstanding, erected fencing and stationed caravans.

Mrs Justice Eady was satisfied that the council had taken all reasonable steps to notify the various defendants about the proceedings, none of whom had provided a hint of a defence. Since the initial injunction, granted in March, had been effective in stopping further works on the land, including felling of more trees, she agreed that the restrictions should be made permanent.

Three Rivers District Council v Cash

Date: 1 May 2020

Ref: [2020] EWHC 1449 (QB)

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