A developer caused damage to a protected tree after going against planning permission in Chorleywood.

Rivergate Homes (Pine Cottage) had been building homes in Quickley Rise when contractors excavated land close to the roots of a Beech tree.

The works took place in an area that was fenced off to protect the rooting area of the mature Beech tree.

But the tree suffered damage as a result of the works.

The Director of Rivergate Homes (Pine Cottage), Nicky Morrison, appeared at St Albans Magistrates Court on Wednesday 24 July.

A fine and costs amounting to £7,255 was made payable to the company.

Cllr Phil Williams, lead member of environment services and sustainability at Three Rivers District Council, said: “I trust this sends out a clear message that violating a Tree Preservation Order has serious legal consequences.

“Criminal damage to the protected trees or environment is a serious offence and penalties will be incurred.”

All trees within a designated Conservation Area and specific trees identified within Tree Preservation Orders across the district are protected from being cut down, topping, lopping, uprooting and wilful damage or destruction.