TH: Cedar Tree, Kent UK: a case for legal action?

 Post-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com (Community Forestry) ----------

Dear Richard/Tree House

The saga of the Cedar Tree in Kent continues. I have been able to get
local parish council to endorse a letter to the borough council. The
letter sets out a series of demands to protect the tree:

1. That the cordon by at least 1.5 times the radial distance from the
tree trunk to the canopy drip line

2. That the barrier should be a sturdy fence mounted on posts or steel
poles, and at least 1.5 to 2m high. and that it should be able to
withstand knocking and bashing typical in construction, such as plywood
sheets nailed to posts or  chainlink fencing.  

3. In addition to the fence, the following should also be specified:
        a) no storage or dumping of materials within the fenced area
        (soils, gravel, lumber, pipes, building materials)

        b) no raising or lowering of the existing soil grades

        c) no discharge of water onto the fenced area

        d) no dumping of waste materials, such as concrete washouts 
        building, debris, wood ends etc. (all are toxic and will kill

        e) no driving of any vehicles within fenced area (avoid soil   

        f) no servicing of any vehicles (refuelling, oil changes etc.) 
        on the site
4. That the fence should remain standing until all landscaping
arrangements on the plot have been completed.

 (I am grateful to the help supplied by Julian Dunster in compiling
these demands).

The response from the Borough Planning Officer has been to refuse a tree
preservation order (similar statutory protection is already afforded by
virtue of the tree being in a conservation area) and to erect a flimsy
fence at a distance less that the drip line, ie: actually under the

This week, the driver of a heavy lorry was seen to remove the fence to
get his vehicle onto the site. Has anyone advice as to whether this is
enough for a legal action? Under the terms of the conservation area,
wilful damage to the tree is unlawful.

Rdgs Adam