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Housebuilder and Tree Surgeon Convicted of Felling a Prominent Redwood and Ancient Woodland

Annabel Graham Paul

Following a two day trial in Swansea, housebuilder Enzo’s Homes Ltd., their director Fiorenzo Sauro and tree surgeon Arwyn Morgan have been convicted of felling a prominent redwood and a substantial area of Ancient Woodland protected by TPO at Penllergaer Woods.

The trial followed an unsuccessful abuse of process argument on the grounds that the TPO had not been served on the landowners. The case is of interest to lawyers since it was held that the TPO was incapable of challenge after the 6 week statutory period and was thereafter valid (in accordance with s. 284 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and contrary to the dicta previously expressed by the Divisional Court in Vale of Glamorgan BC v Palmer and Bowles (1983) 81 LGR 678; [1982] JPL 334). It was not an abuse to prosecute the three defendants since, in practice, they had known of the existence of the TPO.

The trial has been of widespread national interest given the importance of the 200 year old redwood which was planted by the Dilwyn Llewelyn family.

Annabel Graham Paul acted for the prosecuting authority, the City and County of Swansea.

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