We are a company that provides Subsidence Services and very keen to include to the Tree Preservation Orders and Trees within a Conservation area. Part of our database needs to include the following information
· Location of the tree - preferably grid reference, then postcode full address or finally just street
· Type of tree
· Date listed
We are under the impression we can gain this information as part of the Freedom of Information Act.
You have requested information from the Council in respect of all tree preservation orders and all trees within the conservation area, presumably within the Borough of Brentwood. You also requested this information to be provided to you preferably by grid reference, full address including post code, the type of tree and date listed.
The Council only has a duty to comply with a request for information that it holds and although the Council do hold the information pertaining to tree preservation orders and the extent of conservation areas within the Borough, the Council deal with requests on a request by request basis pertaining to a particular address in relation to tree preservation orders, so unfortunately, the Council do not hold a record of all of its tree preservation orders that is accessible in the manner in which you have requested this information and it is therefore not reasonably practicable to provide you with the information requested and due to the significant cost implications of complying with your request, the Council are unable to provide you with the data requested. In relation to conservation areas, the Council do have records showing the extent of the conservation areas within its Borough, but it does not hold information of individual trees within these conservation areas.
Section 16(1) of the FOIA relates to the duty of an Authority to provide advice and assistance. It states:
It shall be the duty of a public authority to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information to it.
In order to assist you with alternative means of accessing the data you require, the information relating to tree preservation orders is held on a data base on an individual property/land basis. This data base is freely available to the public in the planning reception via computer terminals which allow access to the Local Land Charges Register on a property by property basis or land by land basis, during the Council’s working hours. The Council’s opening hours are detailed on our web-site at www.brentwood.gov.uk There is also historical data held on 204 old ordinance survey maps which show tree preservations orders and conservation areas up to 1997. These maps can be viewed by appointment with the land charges department. You can contact land charges on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Tracy Reader on 01277 312625 to make an appointment to view these historical maps. Alternatively, you can call either Andy Laing, the Councils Arboriculturist on 01277 312611 or Tracy Reader, Land Charges Assistant, to ascertain if there are any tree preservation orders/conservation areas affecting a particular address on a case by case basis. The conservation areas within the Borough are shown on the Brentwood Replacement Local Plan which is available on our web site at www.brentwood,.gov.uk for you to view electronically.