Tree-lopping resident forced to fork out $15,000 for view
An East Lismore resident has been fined $15,000 for removing a number of trees from Council land opposite his home in order to improve his views.
Brian Burns was initially fined $1500, but challenged the matter in Lismore Local Court where Magistrate David Heilpern convicted him under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and fined him $15,000 plus awarded legal costs of $3270 against him.
The magistrate spoke at length about the seriousness of the offence and the need to send a strong message to the community that the illegal chopping of trees is to be deplored.
He said the trees had been cut down to improve the owner's view, yet were on public land and that there was a loss of natural amenity and an increased risk of landslip at the steep location. He also said the actions were premeditated and deliberate.
Other residents in the street who cleared trees have since been issued with $1500 fines.