Fencing installed on Bramble Lane, but does it comply with the Tree Preservation Order?


What happened?

Fencing was installed earlier this year on Bramble Lane in relation to High Leigh Garden Village. Bramble Lane has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), which is in place to protect the trees. Some of the fencing was installed in very close proximity to the trees on bramble lane, in some cases they are are less than 15cm from the base of the trees and with cement overlapping the roots of some trees. This does not seems acceptable for a TPO, normally fencing is installed some distance away and not dug into the ground like it has been.

Have the trees been impacted?

It is hard to know if some of these protected trees have been damaged, an impartial expert would be required, rather than a bias member of the Councils team.

Some of the posts have been placed extremely close to the trees, with cement in places overlapping the roots of the tree. This may be classed as wilful damage, but the Council disagree that damage has occurred, so will not pursue the matter.

It is deeply concerning to know that the developers can pour cement onto the roots of protected trees and place posts right next to them, without any intervention from the council.

Broxbourne Borough Council also state that the posts are mainly over 1m away from the trees, this seems contradictory as it would indicate that posts installed closer than 1m are not acceptable, which has happened in multiple locations.

Once again the council are letting the developers off the hook for this fencing installation. Instead residents nearby are left to suffer from more loss of amenity in their local green areas and right of ways. The public have been let down by Broxbourne Borough Councils failure to act to protect our trees on this occasion.

Take a look at some of the pictures below in the gallery and decide for yourself:

How to Complain

The only way the council will listen is if enough people complain about this pressing matter of environmental damage.

If you want to support your right of ways and trees, them please complain about this issue to the council at: https://www.broxbourne.gov.uk/contact-us/complain-borough-broxbourne-council/3

Contact your local councillors

As well as lodging a complaint with Broxbourne Council you should also contact your local councillors to raise the issue:

Full list of councillors here: https://www.broxbourne.gov.uk/councillors

What is the local councils stance?

“There is an uprooted tree by the roadside that was decayed, however this is not blocking access and was not caused by the fence.

The supporting posts for the heras fencing have been concreted in, are mainly over 1m from the tree bases, such small holes would have little if any effect on tree roots, it is likely they would have avoided significant roots as they would have impeded the excavations for the post holes.

All post hole locations are in accordance with NJUG 10 (guidance for services excavations near trees) and all is in accordance with BS5837 (2012)

The Arboricultural officer has confirmed the fence posts will not harm the trees.” https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bramble_lane_hoddesdon_tpo?nocache=incoming-1563450#incoming-1563450

What is a Tree Preservation Order?

“A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority in England to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. An Order prohibits the:

  • cutting down
  • topping
  • lopping
  • uprooting
  • wilful damage
  • wilful destruction

of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent. If consent is given, it can be subject to conditions which have to be followed. In the Secretary of State’s view, cutting roots is also a prohibited activity and requires the authority’s consent.“-

This information is from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-preservation-orders-and-trees-in-conservation-areas

Copy of the TPO

A copy of the TPO can be found here

Click here to view Bramble Lane on Google Maps


via GIPHY

2 thoughts on “Fencing installed on Bramble Lane, but does it comply with the Tree Preservation Order?”

  1. Totally wrong and surely if the council have a Trree Officer he can explain the reasons.
    Any tree protection fencing has to be outside the calculated Root Protection Area.

  2. Hi Phillip, thanks for your comment. Regarding the Arboricultural officer they have stated as follows:

    “The supporting posts for the heras fencing have been concreted in, are mainly over 1m from the tree bases, such small holes would have little if any effect on tree roots, it is likely they would have avoided significant roots as they would have impeded the excavations for the post holes.

    All post hole locations are in accordance with NJUG 10 (guidance for services excavations near trees) and all is in accordance with BS5837 (2012)

    The Arboricultural officer has confirmed the fence posts will not harm the trees”

    However we have contacted a third party who specialises in TPOs and trees, who disagrees with the councils stance. The councils tree officer is bias as they want to protect the developers and their interests. They also didn’t discharge condition 33 relating to the outline planning permission as they have done in other parts of the development. There are bare roots visible in the images, clearly some of them were damaged.

    It’s a shit show but the Council are forever on the developers side rather than our local community.

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