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Tree-felling

Nada Farhoud made this Freedom of Information request to Cheshire West and Chester Council as part of a batch sent to 188 authorities

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Dear Sir or Madam,

Under freedom of information legislation, I am seeking the following information:

The number of trees chopped down in your area between June 30, 2019 and January 2014.

I require this information broken down by years and how many had preservation orders on them or were classed as exceptional due to age, size of historical significance.

Also during the same period how many trees have been planted - again broken down by years.

I would be grateful if you could provide answers via email. Please contact me with any queries.

I look forward to receiving your response within 20 working days.

Many thanks,

Nada Farhoud

FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

RE: Your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

Case Reference: RFI 1373

 

Dear Nada Farhoud

 

Thank you for your email dated 5 July 2019.

 

It will be treated as a request within the meaning of the Act: this means
that we will send you a full response within 20 working days, either
supplying you with the information which you want, or explaining to you
why we cannot supply it.

 

If we need any further clarification or there is any problem we will be in
touch.

 

 

Disclosures Team

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 0300 123 8 123

Email: [email address]

Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port
CH65 0BE

Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

 

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FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

6 Attachments

Dear Nada Farhoud,

 

Thank you for your request for information of 5^th July 2019 which has
been logged as RFI 1373 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We confirm that Cheshire West and Chester Council
holds information relating to your request.

 

For the purpose of clarity your request has been reproduced below:

 

Under freedom of information legislation, I am seeking the following
information:

 

The number of trees chopped down in your area between June 30, 2019 and
January 2014. I require this information broken down by years and how many
had preservation orders on them or were classed as exceptional due to age,
size of historical significance.

 

Response

 

We do not have a central record of the number of trees cut down or felled,
or a detailed inventory of all trees in the Borough. In order to be
helpful we have included information listed on our planning portal where
you can find out the number of trees felled and planted as per individual
planning applications.

 

The Council does have a number of strategies, policies and programmes that
encourage the number of trees in the Borough to increase. Please see
attached Tree and woodland strategy PDF document.

 

Firstly we protect our existing tree stock. Any works to trees within a
Conservation area or to trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
requires consent under the Town and Country Planning Act. It is an offence
to cut down, top, lop, uproot, damage or destroy any protected tree(s)
without first obtaining approval.

 

All applications submitted to lop, top or fell a TPO tree are made
available online by searching via the following link:

 

[1]https://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk...

 

By selecting the ‘Application to fell/lop TPO tree’ in the ‘Application
Type’ field as shown below, you can see all consents and refusals
determined by the Council within a chosen date range (Whilst there are 4
options to choose from you need to note that the vast majority of
decisions are made under delegated powers and, as such, only very limited
decisions are made by Planning Committee).

 

 

[2]cid:image002.jpg@01D53D56.4BF1D780

 

TPO trees can also be given consent for felling through the planning
application process. Where it is proposed to fell protected and
un-protected trees as part of a development proposal it is recorded on the
application forms submitted to the Council.  All planning applications,
including the application forms and detailed plans that may show the
location of trees to be felled, are available to search and view online
via the advanced search facility accessible via the above link or via the
following simple search option:

 

[3]https://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk...

 

It is worth noting that any restrictions by conditions imposed on planning
permission only apply at the point where development works commence, which
includes any material operation such as works of construction, digging of
foundations, layout/construction of a road etc. The definition of
commencement will exclude site clearance. It can often occur that site
clearance will involve felling of non-protected trees (non-TPO) that
conditions have been put in place to protect and retain. There is no
breach of planning control when this occurs and there is no duty on the
Council, acting as the local planning authority, to record the number of
trees felled.

 

Within the recently adopted Local Plan the Borough’s policy is to replace
each tree felled due to development with two new ones to mitigate the
impact that development has on our tree stock.

 

The Council is committed to the development of woodlands and trees,
through our partnership with Mersey Forest. Since 2009 Mersey Forest has
planted over 46,000 new trees in the Borough. The Mersey Forest team will
be planting over 8,000 trees in Cheshire West in 2019/20, and work is
currently underway to develop schemes for next season.

 

Regarding the tree preservation order part of your request, we can advise
in conjunction with information above the information contained below;

 

In general trees that are within Council ownership or responsibility are
generally not protected by Tree Preservation Order. Local authorities are
generally deemed to be responsible land managers and as such they are
unlikely to undertake works to trees on a whim – the works are usually for
operational, safety or appropriate tree management reasons. Due to the
large numbers of trees that are often managed by Local Authorities placing
TPO’s on such trees would place a significant and unreasonable
administrative burden on the local authority in terms of carrying out
appropriate and justified tree works (it would require a formal 8 week
tree works application to be made by the authority to itself to undertake
even very minor works). TPO’s are generally therefore only made on
significant trees in private ownership where works would normally be
uncontrolled.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by the Council to protect trees
or woodlands if their removal would have a significant impact on the local
environment and its enjoyment by the public. To carry out any works on a
tree subject to a TPO, an application must be made to the Council.

The attached link allows you to ‘self-serve’ the requested information you
seek

You can check a property by using our interactive mapping service -
[4]https://maps.cheshirewestandchester.gov....

[5]cid:image009.jpg@01D54783.BBA26E50

 

You can search a property using the search box in the top left hand
corner.

 

To view the TPO’s you will need to add the relevant layers using the + on
the tool bar and opening the layer list under Environment and Planning as
indicated below:

 

[6]cid:image010.jpg@01D54783.BBA26E50

 

Once you have added the relevant layers you can then zoom in to the map to
view the location, clicking on the green coloured markers (dots and
polygons) will provide basic detail of individual trees, areas, groups or
woodlands protected by TPO.

 

[7]cid:image011.jpg@01D54783.BBA26E50

 

It should also be noted that trees may be protected to some extent by
being located within a conservation area, the locations of these can be
viewed by adding the relevant ‘Conservation area Boundary layer using the
+ tool, these will show up on the mapping as a Blue Hashed area.

 

Also during the same period how many trees have been planted - again
broken down by years.

 

The number of trees planted in conjunction with Mersey Forest but not
figures for the borough as a whole are included below for the financial
years in question; unfortunately we do not have figures for 2015-16;

 

 

[8]cid:image002.png@01D53C83.15897550

 

If you would like to report further service requests or contact our tree
officers, please contact us in any of the following ways:

 

o Via the “Your Streets Portal” [9]http://westcheshireyourstreets.co.uk/
, once on home page click the relevant button (Streetcare Pledge or
Roadcare Pledge) and follow the respective link
o Via phone - 0300 123 8123

 

 

We trust this answers your queries.

 

The Council considers that your request has been answered in full by
either confirming that information is not held, providing you with the
information requested, or explaining why any information has been withheld
and the reasons for any redaction. Where applicable, the Council has also
told you the reasons for the delay in responding to your request.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled you can request a review by writing to the Disclosures Team within
40 working days from the date of the Council’s response.

 

You are entitled to a review by the Council if:

•             You are dissatisfied with the Council’s explanation of why
the application was not dealt with within the 20 working day time limit.

•             All the information requested is not being disclosed and you
have not received an explanation why some information is not being
disclosed.

•             A reason for the disclosures under the request being refused
is not received.

•             You consider that exemptions have been wrongly applied,
and/or

•             You consider that a fee has been wrongly applied.

 

Please set out your grounds for seeking a review together with what
specific part of your request those grounds apply to and the outcome you
are seeking. The Council reserves the right to ask you for clarification
of the grounds for your review request if the grounds are not clear, and
to delay commencing the review if such grounds are not provided.

 

The Disclosures Team can be contacted by email via:
[10][Cheshire West and Chester Council request email] or at the following address:

 

Disclosures Team

Cheshire West and Chester Council

4 Civic Way

Ellesmere Port

CH64 0BE

 

The Disclosures Team will acknowledge a request for an internal review
within 5 working days and complete the review as soon as possible and no
later than 40 working days from receipt of the request.

 

More information about the Council’s internal review process can be found
via:

 

[11]http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk...

 

If you remain dissatisfied following the outcome of your review, you have
a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: [12]www.ico.org.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Disclosures Team – Customer Relations and Information

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 0300 123 8 123

Email: [13][email address]

Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port
CH65 0BE

Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

 

 

FD

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References

Visible links
1. https://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk...
3. https://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk...
4. https://maps.cheshirewestandchester.gov....
9. http://westcheshireyourstreets.co.uk/
10. mailto:[Cheshire West and Chester Council request email]
11. http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk...
12. http://www.ico.org.uk/
13. mailto:[email address]

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Nada Farhoud please sign in and let everyone know.