Property tycoon Fiorenzo Sauro was found guilty, earlier this week, of ordering the destruction of 72 protected trees near Swansea and fined £180,000.
His company, Enzo Homes, was fined £120,000 for contravening a tree preservation order under S210 (1)(A) and (2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Town and Country Planning Act 1990
03 Mar 2016
The company and Sauro will collectively need to pay £15,000 in legal costs.
Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard that in November last year, the trees were illegally felled in Swansea's Penllergaer Valley Woods, in Penllergaer, to make way for 80 homes. This included a giant redwood planted in 1842 by the botanist John Dillwyn Llewelyn.
Swansea Council, who had originally sold the land to Enzo Homes for development, pursued Sauro and his contractor through the courts.
Arwyn Morgan, a self-employed tree-surgeon paid by Sauro to fell the trees, pleaded guilty to contravening a tree preservation order and was also fined £120,000.
Morgan must pay £2,000 in legal costs.
Enzo Homes told ENDS that it is planning to appeal the court’s decision.
Mark Thomas, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for environment and infrastructure management, said that the legal outcome reflected the work the council had undertaken to investigate the “environmental crime.”
He said: "In monetary terms, these trees held a significant value but no amount of money or fine can replace the value of the trees in terms of what they mean to the community and Swansea as a whole.”