Council could have done more to challenge Kenilworth tree felling

The trees were felled in May
The trees were felled in May

Controversial tree felling on land off Rouncil Lane could have been challenged by Warwick District Council, despite an earlier statement from council leader Cllr Andrew Mobbs claiming otherwise.

The felling of several healthy trees on Thursday May 17 caused nearby residents and district councillor Sue Gallagher to protest.

Cllr Andrew Mobbs earlier claimed the council 'were unable to intervene', but this is not true

Cllr Andrew Mobbs earlier claimed the council 'were unable to intervene', but this is not true

But the Forestry Commission had granted a thinning licence for up to 100 trees in the area, despite the trees having Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) on them. It was satisfied the licence was being complied with.

When previously approached for comment, Cllr Andrew Mobbs issued a statement saying the district council was unable to intervene with the Commission's decision as its licences take precedence over TPOs.

But this is not the case. Under the Forestry Act 1967, if a local authority challenges a felling licence, the Commission must then go to the Environment Secretary for approval.

The Forestry Commission confirmed no such challenge was made by Warwick District Council. A spokesman for the Commission said: "In the case of felling in Rouncil Lane, this process was followed and the local authority consented to the works without conditions."

The felling has stopped for the time being.

The news emerged after Cllr Pat Cain blamed the heated protests, which allegedly culminated in an assault on Monday May 21, on the lack of communication from landowner Christine Archer about the felling.

Cllr Andrew Mobbs did not immediately respond for clarification on his earlier statement.