THE London Borough of Bexley has successfully prosecuted a local homeowner and his tree surgeon for illegally cutting down a protected tree.

The Sycamore tree, at a property in White Oak Gardens, Sidcup, was protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

On September 16 the tree surgeon, operating as TPA Tree Surgery, pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’ Court to carrying our works to a protected tree contrary to section 210(4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. He was fined a total of £860.

Two week later, on September 30, the owner of the property pleaded guilty to the same offence. He was fined a total of £470.

The Council became aware of the unauthorised works in February.

A council spokesman said: “Protected trees play an important part in making Bexley such a green and pleasant borough.

“The robust enforcement action we took in this case shows how seriously we take any incidents where we believe people carry out work to trees they know are protected.“

This story first appeared in the News Shopper.