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URGENT Information Re: Felling of trees in a Conservation Area at Stapleton Allotments without S.211 notification consent or planning permission

Belinda Faulkes made this Freedom of Information request to Bristol City Council

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Dear Bristol City Council,

Re: URGENT – Felling of trees in a Conservation Area without S.211 notification consent or planning permission

Felling and/or pruning of trees within a Conservation Area at Stapleton Allotments & Smallholdings in connection with the relocation of allotments to make way for the NFHP MetroBus bus only junction

The planned works affect the following trees or groups of trees:
Line of conifer trees and an oak on existing plot 1 adjacent to existing Plot 1A.
Trees in the area earmarked for new Plot 54A (Accessible Plots).

I am writing to highlight the lack of any planning permission, consent or S211 notification to fell or prune any of the trees in the above areas.

Planning documents show that the trees in question are not covered by any of the following permissions, consents or S.211 notifications:

* 14/01187/FB NFHB main application:

These trees are outside any of the mapped areas. The maps within this application clearly show the route of the road linking Stoke Lane and the new M32 Junction passing through Plot 1A (avoiding Plot 1) then skirting around the planned site of new Plot 54A. None of the plans or maps show tree removal in the areas in question. There is also no evidence that the conditions, which allow site clearance to begin lawfully, have been fully met.

* 14/03815/F
Covers new building and associated works within existing Plot 1A and the new fence dividing the relocated allotments from Feed Bristol and the MetroBus route. As stated in the Report to the Committee this application does not cover the relocation of the allotments. The trees above are not shown within the documentation

* 15/00901/VC
S.211 notice covering trees on the existing allotment site only.

* Secretary of State (DCLG) Consent to appropriate land at Stapleton Allotments 13th Oct 2014.
This is consent to appropriate the land needed for the MetroBus from the existing allotments with the agreement that suitable provision for new plots is made. The consent letter from DCLG clearly states that "This consent does not convey any approval or consent that may be required under any enactment, bylaw or regulation other than those above". It does not allow felling or pruning of trees in a Conservation area.

You will be aware that trees may already have been removed or damaged in these areas by the actions of contractors, enforcement officers or security guards. You will also be aware of the penalties for unauthorised work on trees in a Conservation Area. Please cease all works on these trees until a Section 211 notice application has been made and approved.

Please provide a prompt response with documentary evidence to clarify IF any authorisation has been sought and or given. If it has not, I demand assurance that these trees will not be felled without the appropriate permission. Please note that the content of this letter has been submitted as a Freedom of Information request, which by law necessitates a response within 20 days. Due to the urgency of this situation I request a much quicker response to ensure appropriate transparency and adherence to due process. Many thanks.

Yours sincerely
Belinda Faulkes
On behalf of
Rising Up

Yours faithfully,

Belinda Faulkes

Freedom of Information, Bristol City Council

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[1]Bristol 2015 - European Green Capital – an initiative of the European
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References

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Freedom of Information, Bristol City Council

Dear requester

We write in response to your requests for information received here on
20/03/2015. For your reference your requests for information are in bold
below and our responses follow.

Dear Bristol City Council,

Re: URGENT – Felling of trees in a Conservation Area without S.211
notification consent or planning permission

Felling and/or pruning of trees within a Conservation Area at Stapleton
Allotments & Smallholdings in connection with the relocation of allotments
to make way for the NFHP MetroBus bus only junction

The planned works affect the following trees or groups of trees:
Line of conifer trees and an oak on existing plot 1 adjacent to existing
Plot 1A.
Trees in the area earmarked for new Plot 54A (Accessible Plots).

I am writing to highlight the lack of any planning permission, consent or
S211 notification to fell or prune any of the trees in the above areas.

Planning documents show that the trees in question are not covered by any
of the following permissions, consents or S.211 notifications:

* 14/01187/FB NFHB main application:

These trees are outside any of the mapped areas. The maps within this
application clearly show the route of the road linking Stoke Lane and the
new M32 Junction passing through Plot 1A (avoiding Plot 1) then skirting
around the planned site of new Plot 54A. None of the plans or maps show
tree removal in the areas in question. There is also no evidence that the
conditions, which allow site clearance to begin lawfully, have been fully
met.

* 14/03815/F
Covers new building and associated works within existing Plot 1A and the
new fence dividing the relocated allotments from Feed Bristol and the
MetroBus route. As stated in the Report to the Committee this application
does not cover the relocation of the allotments. The trees above are not
shown within the documentation

* 15/00901/VC
S.211 notice covering trees on the existing allotment site only.

* Secretary of State (DCLG) Consent to appropriate land at Stapleton
Allotments 13th Oct 2014.
This is consent to appropriate the land needed for the MetroBus from the
existing allotments with the agreement that suitable provision for new
plots is made. The consent letter from DCLG clearly states that "This
consent does not convey any approval or consent that may be required under
any enactment, bylaw or regulation other than those above". It does not
allow felling or pruning of trees in a Conservation area.

You will be aware that trees may already have been removed or damaged in
these areas by the actions of contractors, enforcement officers or
security guards. You will also be aware of the penalties for unauthorised
work on trees in a Conservation Area. Please cease all works on these
trees until a Section 211 notice application has been made and approved.

Please provide a prompt response with documentary evidence to clarify IF
any authorisation has been sought and or given. If it has not, I demand
assurance that these trees will not be felled without the appropriate
permission. Please note that the content of this letter has been submitted
as a Freedom of Information request, which by law necessitates a response
within 20 days. Due to the urgency of this situation I request a much
quicker response to ensure appropriate transparency and adherence to due
process. Many thanks.

Yours sincerely
Belinda Faulkes
On behalf of
Rising Up

Yours faithfully,

Further to your communication and Freedom of Information request regarding
the felling of trees and clearing of vegetation in and around the
Stapleton allotments area, the MetroBus project team has advised that no
tree work has been carried out other than that deemed necessary for health
and safety reasons to effect the safe removal of protestors. Similarly, no
scrub land has been cleared except where gaps were required for
contractors to carry out the safe removal of the high quantities of waste
left by the protestors. The MetroBus project team is fully aware of the
requirements for S211 notices for trees not otherwise covered by planning
consents. The necessary notices will be submitted where appropriate.
Therefore none of the planned work on vegetation in the area has been
carried out, nor will it be until the appropriate permissions are in
place.

On behalf of
Freedom of Information Team

This response should answer your request in full, however if you are not
satisfied with this response or wish to lodge an appeal against any
exemptions that may have been applied, you can do so by writing to the
Data Protection Officer at Bristol City Council Legal Services, City Hall,
College Green, Bristol, or [Bristol City Council request email]. Details of the complaints
procedure can be found at http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/complaints

If, after you have exhausted the council's complaints procedure, you are
still not satisfied with the response you have received you have the right
to complain to the Information Commissioner, details of your right to
complain can be found at http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx

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does not imply a right to reproduce or commercially exploit such
information without the Council's express prior written permission.
Reproduction or commercial exploitation of materials supplied under this
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must be obtained from the copyright holders.

[1]Bristol 2015 - European Green Capital – an initiative of the European
Commission

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S Waycott left an annotation ()

It is worth noting that the smallholdings had large quantities of rubbish from previous tenants, abandoned derelict buildings and had been used for flytipping. So the majority of the 'rubbish' was already there. BCC's onw reports on Plot 1A show that the land had been used for flytipping and is contaminated with lead and asbestos.

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