Tree works taking place in West Shepton on the old railway line.

The council has received a number of concerns about tree works taking place in West Shepton on the old railway line. Whilst we understand the distress at the sudden removal of trees, which has been carried out by the land owner, especially with the close proximity to neighbouring gardens, Mendip District Council do not have any powers to instruct the current activities to stop.

The council has received a number of concerns about tree works taking place in West Shepton on the old railway line.

Whilst we understand the distress at the sudden removal of trees, which has been carried out by the land owner, especially with the close proximity to neighbouring gardens, Mendip District Council do not have any powers to instruct the current activities to stop.

Enforcement and environmental officers along with a tree specialist from the council have visited the site and confirmed that no development has commenced on the site.  The trees being removed are not protected and therefore the works being carried out do not require permission.

However, the police have been informed and are investigating whether unlawful harm has been caused to any protected wildlife species.  The Council has also contacted the Forestry Commission who are checking on whether any licensing rules have been broken in relation to the volume of timber cleared from the land.  Although we have been informed that all clearance work has now stopped, we understand the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are aware of residents' anxiety around safety matters and any further concerns regarding risk to people's health or property should be reported to the HSE.

There is currently no permission in place for any development on the site and the Council has no clear information as to the land owner's intentions.  In the event of any planning application to build or to undertake significant earth works/re-profiling of the land, the council will notify all immediate neighbours and publicise the details on our website, allowing for public comment before any decision is made.

The quickest way to report a problem to the HSE is to use the online form. If you can't use the form, you can phone on 0300 003 1647 - lines are open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm (on Wednesdays we are open from 10am to 5pm).

Trees within close proximity of the railway line were removed on the same day; this work is not connected to the work on the railway line.  This separate concern is being investigated by MDC.