Friday, 19 July 2019

Bogus Tree Surgeons

We have been notified by the Council that there has been a spate of rogue tree surgeons operating in the Triangle and surrounding area’s who have taken some works to trees without the benefit of planning permission, by posing as qualified tree surgeons offering to cut down or provide maintenance to garden trees in exchange for cash (at highly inflated levels). False addresses, mobile numbers and websites have been used on materials provided and vehicles used.
The Triangle is protected by a Conservation Area designation in addition, some trees (including trees located in private gardens) may be subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) – which protects specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. The Council must be notified six weeks in advance of intended works to a tree located within a Conservation Area or covered by a TPO unless a specific exemption applies (such as where a tree poses a risk to the public). To cut down, uproot or destroy a tree covered by a TPO or within a Conservation Area, or to authorise such an action to take place, is considered an offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Rogue tree surgeons are therefore leaving landowners potentially liable to criminal prosecution.
More information can be found on the Council’s website on the following link: https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/200193/planning_applications_and_permissions/8/works_to_trees
It's strongly recommended NOT to use the services of any cold callers claiming to be tree surgeons or any other trades – we are aware that one elderly resident (not from the Triangle) was forcibly taken to the bank to get money for works. Please only use recommended trades people known to neighbours, friends or relatives or do get in touch with the ATA’s planning team at ata.planningteam@gmail.com.
If you do see works being carried to trees which may not have planning consent to be pruned/felled please contact the planning enforcement team on 020 8921 5559 or planning-enforcement@royalgreenwich.gov.uk. Work to trees will often require careful consideration by an experienced Arboriculturalist or a person who is practiced in assessing the health of trees and their appropriate management. Tree works should also ideally be undertaken outside of the bird nesting season (March – October) to prevent destruction of eggs and harm to birds protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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