The mature tree had extensive works carried out on it after an application to remove it was denied.

Jennifer Jacques-Williams, 41, of Victoria Road, Thelwall was sentenced at Warrington Combined Court on 29 January for failing to obtain the appropriate planning consent to undertake work to a protected tree.

An application was submitted to the council to remove the tree in January 2019. The mature holly tree sited within the Victoria Road/York Drive conservation area. The application was refused in March 2019 as the tree was considered to be of overall good health and had significant amenity value.

The council also considered that the crown of the tree was relatively contained and it was unlikely to grow to a size of concern that couldn’t be managed through pruning.

In July 2019, a council officer in the area noticed extensive works had been carried out on the tree, which they then reported and the council’s enforcement team launched an investigation.

Mrs Jacques-Williams pleaded guilty to contravening the provisions of a tree protection order through carrying out unconsented work on the tree. She was issued a fine of £750, with additional costs of £532.50 and a £75 victim surcharge.

Cllr Judith Guthrie, cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “Landowners and homeowners should respect and always check for tree preservation orders before carrying out any tree or landscaping works.

“Tree preservation orders are put in place to protect trees and prevent activities that can be harmful to the tree or have a detrimental effect on wildlife. Anyone found guilty of breaching a tree preservation order may be taken to court and face a significant fine.”

If you have an issue with a tree or hedge, please visit the council’s website for advice:

Protected tree before and after extensive unauthorised works

(Left) The tree prior to any works, (right) the tree after extensive unconsented works