A local resident is deeply concerned about the future of Hopping Hole Quarry.
This is what he wrote to the Webmaster…
‘It’s clear – especially after the School Secretary’s car was written off after a tree fell on it during the latest storm – that the trees in this area need managing, and probably some culling, to protect public routes and power lines.
Whilst there has been no planning application so far, word on the street is that the owner has been advised – by a planning authority which has a track record of insensitivity to the responsibilities of having a Conservation Area and a World Heritage Site within its jurisdiction – to apply for a Forestry Commission Felling Licence. This, apparently, is due to the fact that dealing with more than one tree at a time is too onerous a task – and the owner is talking about getting rid of a couple of hundred.
However, a Forestry Commission Felling Licence application does not need to be made public, and there is no requirement for consultation.
This means that the sound of the chain-saws may well be the first we residents know about the end of Hopping Hole Quarry… its trees, bats, rooks, everything.’
A Milford resident has responded with this…
‘I have had a look at the Forestry Commission website and the conditions are as below. As can be seen, this is a licence that does not override any other requirements. Unless I am mistaken, the Hopping Hole Quarry is within the conservation area and as such, Amber Valley Borough Council consent is required for the felling of any trees that are more than 10 cm in diameter (at 1 metre above ground level). That should be required as well as an Forestry Commission licence if the quantity to be felled requires that.
Maybe there should be some concerted pressure on the Borough Council to ensure that they will act if any wholesale felling of trees commences, and perhaps it would be beneficial for local residents to keep an ear out for chainsaws starting work on the site and ring AVBC accordingly. I will be keeping an eye out on the planning website for a consent for felling.
In any calendar quarter*, you may fell up to 5 cubic metres on your property without a licence as long as no more than two cubic metres are sold.
(*1 Jan to 31 March, 1 April to 30 June, 1 July to 30 September and 1 October to 31 December.)
Contact your local Forestry Commission office if you not certain whether these exemptions apply.
Certain types of felling do not need permission from the Forestry Commission.
The Forestry Act 1967, as amended, and related regulations gives these exceptions in full. The main categories are listed below:
- Lopping and topping (which usually includes tree surgery, pruning and pollarding).
- Felling included in an approved Dedication plan.
- Felling fruit trees, or trees growing in a garden, orchard, churchyard or designated public open space (eg. under the Commons Act 1899).
- Felling trees which, when measured at a height of 1.3 metres from the ground:
- have a diameter 8 centimetres or less;or
- if thinnings,have a diameter of 10 centimetres orless;or
- if coppice (ie. managed by cutting to promote multi-stemmed grow arising at or near ground level) or underwood, have a diameter of 15 centimetres or less.
- Felling trees immediately required for the purpose of carrying out development authorised by planning permission (granted under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) or for work carried out by certain providers of gas, electricity and water services and which is essential for the provision of these services.
- Felling necessary for the prevention of danger or the prevention or abatement of a nuisance (eg. which may involve threat of danger to a third party).
This exemption will only apply if there is a real rather than a perceived danger.
We may be able to give you advice that would minimise the danger without felling the trees. We strongly recommend that you contact us if you are considering felling a tree or trees in these circumstances. You may be prosecuted for illegal felling if it is shown that the tree did not present a real or immediate danger.
- Felling necessary to prevent the spread of a quarantine pest or disease and done in accordance with a notice served by a Forestry Commission Plant Health Officer (under the Plant Health (Forestry) (Great Britain) Order 1993, as amended).
- The felling is done in compliance with any obligation imposed by or under an Act of Parliament.