The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that manages and maintains over 6,000 acres of green space across Milton Keynes, has secured compensation of £10,000 plus payment of its costs from the Burger King restaurant in Milton Keynes.
In October last year contractors acting for the restaurant unlawfully felled eight horse chestnut trees and one alder tree on Parks Trust land adjacent to the Burger King outlet on H5 Portway in Central Milton Keynes.
The Trust reported it to the police as criminal damage and sought compensation from Burger King to enable replacement trees to be planted.
Faced with the prospect of legal proceedings being taken against it, the Burger King restaurant in Milton Keynes came to an out-of-court settlement.
David Foster, Chief Executive of The Parks Trust, said: “The public have a right to expect us to safeguard the parks and landscape of Milton Keynes on their behalf, and that is what we were doing here. We are always willing to talk to businesses about the landscape adjacent to them but if they take matters into their own hands, as in this case, we will respond robustly.
“Most businesses in Milton Keynes really value the landscape setting we provide for them and the contribution the green environment makes to the economic success of the city. It was disappointing that this was not the case in this instance when the trees, which were there for everyone to enjoy and to provide an attractive gateway into the city centre, were felled by the restaurant.
“The trees were approximately six metres tall and over thirty years old and just beginning to make a real impact on the landscape. To replace each individual tree like-for-like would cost £10,440 plus the cost of delivery planting, so while £10,000 compensation might sound a lot, it in no way covers the loss suffered by the city.”