Application Details

Reference 21/01789/VP
Address Public Conveniences High Street Westbury Bristol BS9 3ED  
Street View
Proposal T1 Yew - Fell TPO 1406.
Validated 30-03-21
Type Tree Preservation Order
Status Decided
Neighbour Consultation Expiry 13-05-21
Determination Deadline 25-05-21
Decision REFUSED
Decision Issued 02-06-21
BCC Planning Portal BCC Planning Portal
Public Comments Supporters: 0 Objectors: 3    Total: 3
No. of Page Views 0
Comment analysis   Date of Submission
Nearby Trees Within 200m

BTF response: OBJECT

It is not clear on the Application Form what this application is about. TPO 1406 is listed under "Constraints". This cannot be an objection to the placement of the TPO if that has been confirmed. The covering letter states that a TPO objection has been sent to BCC. When was this sent? Was it before or after the TPO was confirmed, if it has been? Can the Applicant, at this stage, state that the TPO should not have been made in the first place? If it has been confirmed he is out of time to argue that, surely?

The Application Form does not state that a felling of the tree is being requested. But the covering letter states "It is proposed to remove the yew because it is unreasonably close to the building". So this seems to be an application to fell a TPO tree
I see that the objector attempts to persuade the Council against enforcing/confirming the TPO by threat of payment of compensation to the Applicant. Surely the purchasers must have known that there was a tree on the land immediately in front of the building? Maybe they just assumed it could be removed. That is a bold assumption, whether the tree had a TPO or not, and does not entitle them to seek compensation if it should not be removed. Caveat emptor.

In fact the original S211 Notice, 20/02348/VC, to remove the tree was not for the erection of the new building, but to facilitate erection of scaffolding to demolish the old building. If the old building is to be removed then this could be done from the "inside" having removed the other walls first. One often sees building frontages being retained to "face" the replacement building. I am not suggesting that here, but merely saying that such building practices are feasible.
Who owns the tree? Who owns the land? I recall that at the time of the previous application - 20/02348/VC - that some commentators asked that question. Was the ownership of the land immediately in front of the conveniences ever established? He who owns the land owns the tree. BCC PinPoint and KnowYourPlace mapping show the land in front of the conveniences as being part of the Highway. Adjacent landowners can object to the confirmation of a TPO so presumably that is what is being done here - but has such an objection to confirmation been lodged in time?
The placing of a TPO on a tree is in part subjective.
Forbes Laird Arboricultural Consultancy February 2009 TEMPO Guidance Notes are being quoted by the objector as demonstrating that the Yew tree is an 'existing or near future nuisance, clearly outgrowing the context' and should have scored 0 under Section 1b of the TEMPO assessment. I would comment "You would say that, wouldn't you?"

But the same section of the Guidance Note goes on to say that a tree should NOT be marked down because it is standing HARD UP AGAINST AN EXISTING STRUCTURE.
"The nuisance element is introduced to cover situations where, for example, a Section 211 Notice has been received by the LPA for removal of a tree causing subsidence damage. In relation to outgrowing context, some common sense is needed here: if the trees are being considered for TPO protection prior to development, and if it is apparent that demolition of existing structures will be a component of this process, then a tree should not be marked down simply because it is standing hard up against one of the existing structures."
I would say that any replacement building does not have to be erected so close to the Yew tree. In fact, Tree Protection would ensure that it is not built so close to the tree. Then the tree is not a near future nuisance.

I very much support the TPO. The tree has huge amenity value in the High Street. Every tree that grows on the planet is a necessary tree. That is particularly so for urban trees. In such a built environment as a City the presence of a tree improves mental health and reduces pollution. Although these are not criteria for a TPO, amenity is a major consideration.
There are a number of questions here.

Is the Applicant too late to object to the placement of a TPO?
When did the Applicant lodge an objection to the TPO? Was it before or after the TPO was confirmed (if it has been confirmed)? One cannot force a LPA to revoke a confirmed TPO.

Who owns the tree and the land on which it grows?
If the Council owns the land, should the Council permit the felling of a TPO tree it owns to facilitate the demolition and construction of a building close to the tree? Work should be done to the "old" building without causing a nuisance to the tree, and any new building works undertaken in a similar fashion. Maybe the new building will have to be constructed further from the tree.
If the Council should permit the felling of this tree (I object to that) then a replacement tree will need to be planted by the Applicant, and should be within 5 metres of the Yew. I await the siting of that with both interest and dismay.

Should it turn out that the TPO has not been confirmed - I know not how to discover that - then the loss of the tree - if that is permitted - will have to be mitigated under the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard - so that will be something at least. Another tree in the High Street please. It will need a pit. £3,318.88.

Public Comments

on 2021-04-18   OBJECT

Sustainable Westbury on Trym (SusWoT) objects to this application in its present form.Westbury village is losing its mature trees at an alarming rate. This is bad news both for theenvironment and for the character of the village. This tree softens the built form of the High Streetviewed from the war memorial and was considered worthy of a TPO in view of its condition andlocal amenity value.

As we stated in our comment on the previous application, any proposal to fell the tree should formpart of a full application for the proposed development of the site in order to make an informedjudgement.

Should it ultimately be judged that the TPO stands but that the tree has to be removed in order toallow any feasible use of the former toilets for an alternative purpose, combined with a likelihood itwill dangerously outgrow its location, then it is imperative that the Bristol Tree ReplacementStandard is applied and a suitable nearby site for a mature as possible direct replacement is foundwithin the High Street.

on 2021-04-12   OBJECT

On the face of it, this Application to fell a TPO tree appears anomalous.

Firstly, TPO 1406 was granted by BCC in July 2020 following the submission of a previousApplication (20/02348/VC) to fell the subject tree. Therefore, what is the relevance of submittingthe "Tree Preservation Order Objection Report", dated 26 February 2021, as a supportingdocument to this current application?

Secondly, in answer to Question 4 on the Application Form, the applicant has ticked "no" to thequestion "Are you wishing to carry out works to tree(s) in a conservation area?". This is incorrect,as the subject tree is within the curtilage of the Westbury-on-Trym Conservation Area.

Finally, the response to Question 4 on the Application Form, reference is made to "AsbestosReport J001737" being one of the supporting documents. This report is not currently available toview via the Council's Planning Portal and, therefore, its relevance cannot be assessed.

Until these anomalies are addressed satisfactorily, I wish to object to this Application (as currentlypresented).

on 2021-04-11   OBJECT

It is not clear on the Application Form what this application is about. TPO 1406 is listedunder "Constraints". This cannot be an objection to the placement of the TPO if that has beenconfirmed. The covering letter states that a TPO objection has been sent to BCC. When was thissent? Was it before or after the TPO was confirmed, if it has been? Can the Applicant, at thisstage, state that the TPO should not have been made in the first place? If it has been confirmedhe is out of time to argue that, surely?The Application Form does not state that a felling of the tree is being requested. But the coveringletter states "It is proposed to remove the yew because it is unreasonably close to the building".So this seems to be an application to fell a TPO treeI see that the objector attempts to persuade the Council against enforcing/confirming the TPO bythreat of payment of compensation to the Applicant. Surely the purchasers must have known thatthere was a tree on the land immediately in front of the building? Maybe they just assumed it couldbe removed. That is a bold assumption, whether the tree had a TPO or not, and does not entitlethem to seek compensation if it should not be removed. Caveat emptor.

In fact the original S211 Notice, 20/02348/VC, to remove the tree was not for the erection of thenew building, but to facilitate erection of scaffolding to demolish the old building. If the old buildingis to be removed then this could be done from the "inside" having removed the other walls first.One often sees building frontages being retained to "face" the replacement building. I am notsuggesting that here, but merely saying that such building practices are feasible.Who owns the tree? Who owns the land? I recall that at the time of the previous application -20/02348/VC - that some commentators asked that question. Was the ownership of the landimmediately in front of the conveniences ever established? He who owns the land owns the tree.BCC PinPoint and KnowYourPlace mapping show the land in front of the conveniences as being

part of the Highway. Adjacent landowners can object to the confirmation of a TPO so presumablythat is what is being done here - but has such an objection to confirmation been lodged in time?The placing of a TPO on a tree is in part subjective.Forbes Laird Arboricultural Consultancy February 2009 TEMPO Guidance Notes are being quotedby the objector as demonstrating that the Yew tree is an 'existing or near future nuisance, clearlyoutgrowing the context' and should have scored 0 under Section 1b of the TEMPO assessment. Iwould comment "You would say that, wouldn't you?"But the same section of the Guidance Note goes on to say that a tree should NOT be markeddown because it is standing HARD UP AGAINST AN EXISTING STRUCTURE."The nuisance element is introduced to cover situations where, for example, a Section 211 Noticehas been received by the LPA for removal of a tree causing subsidence damage. In relation tooutgrowing context, some common sense is needed here: if the trees are being considered forTPO protection prior to development, and if it is apparent that demolition of existing structures willbe a component of this process, then a tree should not be marked down simply because it isstanding hard up against one of the existing structures."I would say that any replacement building does not have to be erected so close to the Yew tree. Infact, Tree Protection would ensure that it is not built so close to the tree. Then the tree is not anear future nuisance.I very much support the TPO. The tree has huge amenity value in the High Street. Every tree thatgrows on the planet is a necessary tree. That is particularly so for urban trees. In such a builtenvironment as a City the presence of a tree improves mental health and reduces pollution.Although these are not criteria for a TPO, amenity is a major consideration.There are a number of questions here.Is the Applicant too late to object to the placement of a TPO?When did the Applicant lodge an objection to the TPO? Was it before or after the TPO wasconfirmed (if it has been confirmed)? One cannot force a LPA to revoke a confirmed TPO.Who owns the tree and the land on which it grows?If the Council owns the land, should the Council permit the felling of a TPO tree it owns to facilitatethe demolition and construction of a building close to the tree? Work should be done to the "old"building without causing a nuisance to the tree, and any new building works undertaken in asimilar fashion. Maybe the new building will have to be constructed further from the tree.If the Council should permit the felling of this tree (I object to that) then a replacement tree willneed to be planted by the Applicant, and should be within 5 metres of the Yew. I await the siting ofthat with both interest and dismay.Should it turn out that the TPO has not been confirmed - I know not how to discover that - then theloss of the tree - if that is permitted - will have to be mitigated under the Bristol Tree ReplacementStandard - so that will be something at least. Another tree in the High Street please. It will need apit. £3,318.88.