A landowner and contractor who illegally felled more than 270 protected trees have been ordered to pay more than £255,000.

Ali Matur, who owns land at the Clay Hill conservation area in north Enfield, Bush Wheeler Services Ltd, contractors who carried out the felling and Robert Bush, the company's director were fined and hit with other legal fees at Wood Green Crown Court on February 23 after pleading guilty.

The illegal activity was discovered in early January 2019 by members of the public walking in Hilly Fields Park.

All work on the site was stopped instantly and a prosecution was brought by Enfield Council.

The trees, covered by a Tree Preservation Order and within the Clay Hill conservation area, were situated on land known as ‘Kingswood’ in Clay Hill, and were felled between late December 2018 and early January 2019.

The trees felled included yew, hawthorn oak, ash, spruce, willow and poplar and were predominantly located in the bottom south east corner of the grounds and were clearly visible from Hilly Fields Park.

The council has served a tree replacement notice (TPO) that requires the replanting of 284 trees at the site which includes oak, sweet chestnut, hornbeam, silver birch, field maple, cherry, scots pines, Corsican, pine and Norway spruce.

This is subject to an appeal by Ali Matur.

Matur, Bush Wheeler Services Limited, and Robert Bush, pleaded guilty on February 25 2021 at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court for charges related to the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.

The Judge fined Ali Matur £73,700 and Robert Bush and Bush Wheeler Services Ltd as a company were fined £2,177.50 each.

Ali Matur was also ordered to pay £100,000 in confiscation monies under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Robert Bush and Bush Wheeler Services Limited were ordered to pay £5,200 in confiscation between them. 

The three defendants were also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £72,083.85.