Investigations ongoing into alleged illegal tree felling near Bridgnorth

A decision is yet to be made on findings from a site where alleged illegal tree felling took place near Bridgnorth.

The estate after the area was cleared. Photo: Jason McComb
The estate after the area was cleared. Photo: Jason McComb

Field managers from the Forestry Commission visited Stanmore Industrial Estate, to the east of the market town, where about 14 acres of land was cleared at the end of February.

The findings were referred to the Forest Services National Office, which was expected to reach its decision by the end of May.

But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), confirmed this week that the site was still under investigation and did not give details on the delay.

Concerns were first raised by residents of The Hobbins, who were concerned over the lack of a buffer between homes and the industrial estate, which could cause an increase in noise, air and visual pollution.

Environmentalists also raised concern over the potential damage to wildlife in the area caused by the removal of trees and shrubbery.

In addition to a felling licence, further permissions to cut down trees are sometimes required before a landowner can undertake the work.

Residents said they were “shocked” to see the work being done, but a spokesman for Stanmore Industrial Estate said they were not aware any laws had been broken and added that the land was being returned for agricultural use.

They said that a buffer of trees would be replanted between the industrial estate and the residential area in the autumn.

Before anyone can cut down trees, they may need to get a felling licence from the Forestry Commission, depending on whether an exemption to the need for a licence applies.

Felling trees without the authority of a felling licence carries a penalty upon conviction in a magistrates court of £2,500.

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