A RESTAURANT owner in Swakeleys Road, Ickenham, was prosecuted by Hillingdon Council for cutting down two trees in a conservation area without consent.

Appearing before Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, Birothi Property Ltd was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £181.

The firm had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one offence of permitting the felling of two mature ash trees without consent from the council.

Magistrates heard the owner wanted to put up an outbuilding behind the restaurant and the trees were cut down to make way for it.

The issue was raised with the council a year ago after complaints from residents.

Officers launched an investigation and, during an inspection of the site, discovered grind pits where two mature trees had once stood.

Investigators concluded the trees were of significant amenity value and that permission to remove them would have been denied.

Hillingdon decided to prosecute the company and seek a formal order requiring them to replace the trees.

In October, the council served an order requiring Birothi to replant two trees of a similar size, which has since been done.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, cabinet member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, said: “Felling trees in a conservation area is a serious crime and we are pleased the court recognised this by imposing a significant fine.

“In addition, the trees were much loved and added a great deal of character to the neighbourhood, as well as providing privacy for neighbouring properties. As a result, there were many complaints about their removal.”