Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : Section 211 states
Alex Watts : (3)It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to prove—
Alex Watts : (a)that he served notice of his intention to do the act in question (with sufficient particulars to identify the tree) on the local planning authority in whose area the tree is or was situated; and
Alex Watts : that he did the act in question—(i)with the consent of the local planning authority in whose area the tree is or was situated, or(ii)after the expiry of the period of six weeks from the date of the notice but before the expiry of the period of two years from that date.
Alex Watts : Therefore if you give notice you can not be prosecuted.
Alex Watts : If you contend the tree is dangerous you need to get it confirmed in a report by an expert and send it to the council.
Alex Watts : So serve notice and if they do not respond, prune it.
Alex Watts : It they refuse then get a report.
Alex Watts : Once you have the report you can show it to them and reapply for notice.
Alex Watts : if they still refuse you can complain to the Ombudman at www.lgo.org.uk
Alex Watts : Either way it should not end up in court.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Hi, thanks for your response - it's very helpful. The deed has already been done, in order to protect family, friends and others. This was after asking the Tree Officer for help, who responded with a curt and unhelpful letter, including the information that he didn't know which council department was responsible for the tree or its upkeep, about three years ago. Local councillors, as one might expect, were hopeless. I do have the relevant letter from the Tree Officer and records of correspondence with the council officials. I have an initial meeting with the Tree Officer - would it be better to come to an arrangement if possible or let him take it to court? If so, do you know the size of the fine that might be incurred? Best wishes, David.