Tree order ignored by housebuilder
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.
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.”