Man fined £300 for cutting down tree at Malone Park
A man was fined £300 today for cutting down a tree in a Belfast conservation area.
Alistair Steele was prosecuted over an alleged breach of planning laws on land in the south of the city.
He was charged with wilfully cutting down a multi-stemmed laurel tree at Malone Park between April 19 and May 16 last year.
The tree had been located within the Malone Park Conservation Area.
The protected status is based on the neighbourhood's retention of nineteenth century housing, alongside developments from the Edwardian and post-war periods.
Another feature of the conservation area is its landscape, with mature street trees and gardens said to contribute to the general character.
Steele, of unknown age and from University Street in the city, was due to contest the charge against him.
But at Belfast Magistrates' Court today he instead pleaded guilty to the offence.
As well as imposing the fine District Judge Ken Nixon ordered the defendant to pay £300 costs.