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0 votes
We had a planning application in the Parish. The PC requested a call in via the Ward Councillor which was granted.

 A member of our PC spoke at the LA planning meeting which was recorded by the LA.
The PC member in question spoke stating that our PC supported the plans and in return the developer would gift some of his land for a village green surrounding the ancient oak tree that stood on the proposed site. It would be an asset to the Parish and tidy up the site.

However a small patch of land that the tree sits on is 'unregistered' and has been maintained for years by a local resident.
The PC requested that a TPO be put on the tree prior on recept of the first planning application.

There was no desire by PC members to address the unregistered land prior to the call in.

The PC member in question, now Chairman, has now informed us/ members that the tree would be too costly for the Parish. No monetary figures were quoted. Only a small section of land would now be gifted.
I would value opinions on this? Is this member bringing Council into disrepute?
by (1.7k points)
edited by

4 Answers

0 votes
I regret that I do not understand this.
by (10.1k points)
0 votes
There seems to be some contradictions here based on information given. It was stated at the planning meeting that the developer would gift the said land to the council. You then say the land was "unowned" so how can it be gifted to the council by the developer?
Surely before addressing the planning committee on behalf of the council the member authorised to do so should be only communicating the PC arrived at decisions on the matter. This would have included the possible costs to the community for accepting the "gift" and not as it seems an afterthought as indicated. Total lack of duty of care ?
by (26.9k points)
Thanks Mentorman. Sorry to everyone reading this as quite complicated. Land not yet registered with land registry but historic evidence shows developer owns unowned/unregistered land. I agree with your comment lack of duty of care.
0 votes
The PC Chair is entitled to express an opinion about the tree being too costly and provide costs whatever that means. Gifting of land by the developer should not incur a cost  but what in respect of the tree would be too costly?  Relocating it, getting the Principal Authority to confer a TPO on it?     If the PC has barely enough money to pay for whatever the Tree cost is, the Council might decide it is worth using reserves or making an increase to the precept.  What is certain is that the Chair is not empowered and cannot unilaterally decide that the cost, whatever it actually relates to, can or cannot be paid, whatever he personally thinks about it.
by (35.4k points)
edited by
Thanks Graeme I've amended the original post again. This has been going on for a few years now.
0 votes

The developer can also 'gift' a financial contribution towards the management costs of this tree. Sounds like a valuable asset - Ancient tree? Work out the likely costs of owning it over 20-30 years. It'll be in a public space so.... annual inspection by professional, estimated pruning works etc. 

I say take it on and celebrate it (the tree). BUT make sure there's enough space retained around it and its not damaged by the development. 

See Standing Advice from Nat England... Retained undisturbed ROOT SPACE minimum radius  requirement is 15x trunk diameter (measured at 1.5m above ground) or canopy extent +5m (whichever is greater).

by (140 points)
Thanks for your comment. Sadly my fellow Cllrs dont share my views and want any assets. It's very frustrating. I should add I've not seen any coatings and I'm disappointed that the Clerk/RFO is not advising from a legal point ie predetermined decisions being taken without facts. Currently the tree still stands and there is enough land surrounding it. Thanks again

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