House builders to pay £2.2k after damage to Lancaster tree

The horse chestnut tree at Lancaster Leisure Park (centre, behind the partly constructed house) which was damaged by Miller Homes staff.
The horse chestnut tree at Lancaster Leisure Park (centre, behind the partly constructed house) which was damaged by Miller Homes staff.

A house building firm has been fined for damaging a horse chestnut tree at Lancaster Leisure Park.

Miller Homes will have to pay £2,220 after Lancaster Magistrates Court found the company had breached a Tree Preservation Order while building 71 new houses at the park.

The damage to the tree’s roots was discovered when a Lancaster City Council planning officer visited the site in July 2016.

Angela Parkinson, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said this left the tree at greater risk of disease.

The tree has been protected under a Tree Preservation Order since 1981.

A solicitor acting on behalf of Miller Homes said they were “not a company that takes a cavalier attitude to its statutory obligations”.

“This matter is taken seriously by the company and it has a great compliance record with the council,” she said.

“Miller Homes carried out a series of corrective actions voluntarily at its own cost.”

The company was fined £1,700 and will have to pay £520 in court costs. It was agreed at the hearing the fine would be paid within 28 days.