Tree or­der ig­nored by house­builder

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE -

A DE­VEL­OPER has been fined £13,500 for fail­ing to pro­tect trees while un­der­tak­ing work in Char­ing.

Andrew Knight pleaded guilty at Ash­ford mag­is­trates court on Fri­day for fail­ing to com­ply with plan­ning reg­u­la­tions when he started build­ing three houses at Old Way House, The Hill.

He had ig­nored a tree preser­va­tion or­der which re­quired him to use mat­ting over the roots of the trees to pro­tect them from heavy ve­hi­cles ac­cess­ing the site.

Un­aware

Ash­ford coun­cil be­gan pros­e­cu­tion pro­ceed­ings af­ter Knight failed to ob­serve a stop no­tice is­sued by the coun­cil.

Knight claimed that he had been un­aware of the prob­lem un­til Novem­ber and that to com­ply with the no­tice would have meant lay­ing off his men over Christ­mas.

Martin Vink, de­vel­op­ment con­trol man­ager for Ash­ford coun­cil said: “This sends out a strong sig­nal to de­vel­op­ers that the coun­cil will take ac­tion to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment when ap­pro­pri­ate and that this will be sup­ported by the courts.

“It would not have been dif­fi­cult or ex­pen­sive for Mr Knight to in­stall the pro­tect­ing mat­ting and he was given ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to do so.”

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