Fresh TPO granted for site where previous order was never confirmed

A fresh order to protect trees in Stone has been agreed by councillors – after it was revealed a previous one was never confirmed.

Stafford Borough Council
Stafford Borough Council

On Friday Stafford Borough Council’s public appeals committee confirmed a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) made earlier this year to cover trees on land north of Trent should remain in place.

The authority had previously made a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in September 2000 to protect more than 10 trees on land north of Trent Road.

In 2016 it refused permission for 11 homes to be built on the land. And an appeal against the refusal was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate in 2017.

But in April the council’s legal services team received a request for information that the previous TPO had not been confirmed.

A report to Friday’s meeting said: “The council tree officer, Gavin Pearce, was contacted for confirmation of this fact and it was found that the previous order had never been confirmed.

“As the land in question had previously been the site of a planning application which was subsequently refused consent, it seemed reasonable to presume the enquiries were potentially linked to a forthcoming new planning application.

“As the trees on site represent a material constraint to potential development, and considering their current lack of protected status, it was deemed appropriate to make them the subject of a new Tree Preservation Order. This in turn would ensure their retention until a point where they could be given due consideration as part of any forthcoming planning application.”

Stafford Borough Council received an objection to the latest TPO from James Preston, the report added.

An objection email sent to the council stated: “In the decision notices for both the planning application and subsequent appeal there is no mention whatsoever of the presence of trees on the site being a reason for refusal. The then-council tree officer described in great detail the very poor condition of five of the specimen trees covered by (the) TPO.

“The condition of those trees will obviously have deteriorated even further in the last four years and are now as comprehensively described in the updated survey carried out in late September 2019 by Tree Heritage, our arboricultural consultants. It will be observed in the survey that only three warrant protection.

“If planning consent is granted for this sustainable residential development many of the poplars on the northern boundary will be pollarded or removed and replaced with semi-mature native specimen trees. We are tree lovers and all existing specimen trees worthy of retention within the development will be kept wherever practicable but, if not, will be replaced.”

Friday’s meeting was told that the objector would be willing to work with Mr Pearce to make a more suitable TPO to cover trees in the area.

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