HC Deb 14 July 1964 vol 698 cc997-8
4. Mr. Loughlin

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is satisfied that the present legislation which prohibits the felling of trees in cases of property development is adequate; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Corfield

Yes, Sir. Local planning authorities can control felling by means of a tree preservation order under Section 29 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1962. They can also control development to ensure that it does not necessitate felling trees it is desired to preserve.

Mr. Loughlin

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that there seems to be some weakness in the present position, because there has been a multiplicity of cases where trees have been felled against the orders made by local planning authorities and then, when the developers have been prosecuted—I quote a case in Gloucester recently—the fines which have been imposed have been infinitesimal, even farcical, and in the Gloucester case, as the hon. Gentleman will know, the developer was fined £1 after defying the local planning authority.

Mr. Corfield

Yes, I am aware of that case. Nevertheless, that is a matter for the magistrates who tried it. Whatever legislative alterations were made, there would have to be a court to enforce the order, and it would be quite wrong for a Minister to interfere with the jurisdiction of the court.

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