Monday, 2 February 2009

felling of trees NOT work starting says planning officer

Reply to Richard Cole, Senior Planning Officer, Cardiff Council

The T&CP Act s.56 is quite specific. You are not permitted to claim "generally interpreted" and select the sub-clauses you prefer.
56 Time when development begun

(2) For the purposes of the provisions of this Part mentioned in subsection (3) development shall be taken to be begun on the earliest date on which any material operation comprised in the development begins to be carried out.

(4) In subsection (2) “material operation” means—

(e) any change in the use of any land which constitutes material development.

Our contention is that it will no longer be in use as a Park once tree-felling starts on the Parkland. The felling of viable and valued trees in the Park is clearly not for the use as a Park but for development. The Council's permitting the developers to enter the park land for the purpose of tree felling marks their agreement to that change of use. They last week entered the Park to assess and mark trees for felling.
Please therefore consider the legal distinction between the felling of trees on the College's own land and felling them in the Park.
We would expect you to inform the developers of this distinction and of the need to discharge all the pre-conditions before they are permitted to fell the trees in the Park.

From: "Cole, Richard" <>
Date: 02/02/2009 11:46AM
Subject: RE: Tree felling at College of Music

  • There are conditions which remain to be discharge before ‘development’ can be undertaken. But I have no reason to suspect that these will not be discharged in a timely manner…there are no conditions related to the felling of trees.
  • Development is defined by S56 of the Planning Act and generally interpreted to amount to the digging of trenches for foundations or other operations related to the construction of a building e.g. digging for sewers etc. In this respect ‘Development’ has not yet commenced.
  • I am unable to comment on the applications for disposal/lease/license etc which are dealt with by the Council’s legal/estates divisions.
  • No I do not believe that the felling of trees amounts to the ‘starting of work’ in the sense of ‘the commencement of development’ as defined by S56 of the Planning Act (as above).
  • I do not consider there is any breach of planning control against which enforcement action could be taken in respect of the discharge of conditions or felling of trees (which has been granted planning permission and which also has been approved under the terms of a section 211 notification) which is being undertaken to enable the planning permission to be implemented in the near future..

I hope this is of assistance.

Richard Cole MA MSc (dist) MRTPI

Senior Planning Officer -Uwch Swyddog Cynllunio Cardiff Council - Cyngor Caerdydd

Room 128 - Ystafell 128 City Hall - Neuadd y Ddinas lCardiff - Caerdydd CF10 3ND

t - Ff 029 20 871668 e - E

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