Trees felled

Five ash trees on the bank of the Avon New Cut along Commercial Road have been felled by the owner of the Marchioness, Hugh Pratt. His planning application to erect security fencing along this section of the New Cut was refused on 6th June. As this is a conservation area, he had also applied for planning permission to fell these trees (application number 23/00619/VC). The Council’s planning website page indicates that the status of this application is ‘pending consideration’. Given the refusal of his security fence application, Mr Pratt seems to have decided not to wait for permission to fell these trees. He has already done so. The trees were felled on the morning of 22nd June. It is possible that planning permission had been granted and the  Council website is slow to update. If permission has not been given, there should be consequences. According to the Bristol City Council website:
  • You’re guilty of an offence if you cut down, uproot, top, lop, deliberately destroy or damage a tree in a conservation area.
  • You could be prosecuted. If convicted, you may be fined up to £20,000 in the Magistrates Court for each tree.
  • You would also need to replace any tree removed without permission.
We hope the Council takes action in this case and we will be pressing them to do so. Pratt has also applied to fell a magnificent ash tree on Guinea Street, also in a conservation area.

Update 3rd July 2023

We reported the tree felling to Bristol City Council and received this reply:

This case will be allocated to an investigating officer who will contact you with an initial assessment of the situation within 20 working days from the receipt of your complaint. If a breach of planning control is identified, they will also set out how the investigation will proceed, including an indication of likely timeframes.

Our featured image shows the gap left after the felling. The second image shows the ash trees in full leaf. The final image shows all that remains.

We let members know of our concerns about Mr Pratt’s intentions and 29 objections to the felling of the trees were submitted to the Council.

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