In previous editions of Wirral Matters we highlighted the case of an area of Noctorum where a contractor had felled trees despite preservation orders being in place and destroyed the woodland.
We are pleased to report that after almost two years, Wirral Borough Council has succeeded in prosecuting the contractor who was fined the maximum amount for unauthorised tree felling plus costs, amounting to £7819 by District Judge Abelson.
Whilst this will never bring back the trees or the wildlife it sends a clear message to the public that this type of wanton destruction will not be tolerated by the Community and the courts. The efforts, perseverance and persistence of both the Borough Council and the resident who first alerted Wirral Society to this unauthorised act of destruction are to be commended.
We also hope that our subsequent efforts, together with those of Wirral Wildlife, helped to both to raise and maintain the profile of this disgraceful act and to ensure prosecution was not overlooked. The Society is currently trying to establish whether the judgement included any requirement to replant the area and also whether this illegal act will have any bearing on any future Planning Application for development on the land, by this developer.
Although it was a very stressful situation a local resident had the presence of mind to photograph and video the destruction – evidence which proved essential for a successful prosecution.
The full details will be reported in the next Wirral Matters.
Many thanks to Mal Molloy for supplying the photographs on this page and for his vigilance in recording the destruction.
Saughall Massie Village Conservation Area Society inform us that they are now on-line with their own website.
Containing lots of information about Saughall Massie village, its history, its buildings and a portal for village members to login to, the website is definitely worth a visit if you are interested in learning about that particular area of Wirral.
Oaken Wood may not be on the Wirral (it’s in Kent), but the recent decision by the Secretary of State for Community and Local Government, Eric Pickles seems to set a precedent for the destruction of woodlands.
Although initially bad news for the wildlife protectors of Kent, it shows some indication of how the present government’s new local planning policies work (or don’t work) which could easily have a knock-on effect for every area in the UK, including Wirral.
The Woodland Trust are less than pleased about this decision, as you can read on their website and it is fairly indicative of how developers see the protection of woodland and trees in general. You only have to look at the recent illegal felling of trees in Noctorum to gain an idea of the lack of respect those who value Tarmac and concrete above nature.
More than ever, we need to be vigilant regarding the loss of natural habitats, especially now Mr Pickles has set the order of the day.
Here are some details of a number of cases currently being discussed by the Committee.
Localism Act and National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
It is still unclear what the impact of the new Legislation will be on the planning process. We are aware though, it’s has been established that more Applications are being approved than in previous years.
However, it would be timely to use this opportunity to comment on the recent depressing government pronouncements on planning and related issues, which, if implemented, stand to profoundly affect Wirral, along with other parts of England. The main concern is that the Coalition seems to be in a permanent state of alarm. Continue reading “Latest News & Views – January 2013”→