A millionaire added up to £100,000 to the value of his luxury Sandbanks holiday home by butchering two protected trees in his back garden, a court heard.
Trevor Beale, 58, hacked the mature Scots Pines to increase the natural light on the patio and two balconies of his large house on the exclusive resort in Poole Harbour, Bournemouth Crown Court heard.
Trevor Beale, 58, has pleaded guilty after two trees at the back of his £1.2million luxury Sandbanks home were butchered, adding a potential £100,000 to its value
The five-bedroom property is valued at £1.2million and is rented out for up to £4,800 per week in the peak summer months.
Numerous branches were cut off the trees, leaving the canopies of the 60ft tall trees almost bare.
The two pines were subject to Tree Preservation Orders and residents should seek permission from their local authority before carrying out any work.
Beale pleaded guilty to two charges of contravening tree preservation regulations at a previous hearing.
The amount his property has increased in value is the subject of the confiscation proceedings at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Two surveyors estimated the benefit to the defendant was between £60,000 and £100,000.
This figure is disputed by Beale, who claims the uncertainty over Brexit makes it hard to accurately value his luxury home.
The businessman lets out the house called Allure on prestigious Grasmere Road, Sandbanks, for up to £4,800 a week in the peak summer months.
Al fresco dining on the south-facing patio is one of the selling points for the property on rental websites.
The rear of the Sandbanks property, advertised as Allure, shows the damaged trees and the home’s natural light
The two 60ft Scots Pines sheltered the back patio where guests are encouraged to dine al fresco on rental websites
The luxury holiday resort of Sandbanks in Dorset is a popular home for Britain’s rich and famous and is near where Harry Redknapp and wife Sandra live
Tom Horder, prosecuting on behalf of Poole Borough Council, said that Beale had hired a tree surgeon to carry out some legitimate work to a storm-damaged tree in the front garden on January 24 last year.
Mr Horder said: ‘There is another tree at the front of the property that needed work, we don’t dispute that.
‘He had a tree surgeon there. Our case is that he used the opportunity to destroy to a large extent the canopies of two trees at the rear of the house that hung into his garden.
‘We say this was a deliberate act to improve the rear of the house and let in the light.’
Mark Russell, mitigating, said the tree surgeon Beale had hired had been responsible for the over-zealous work on the two pines that his client did not ask for.
Mr Russell said Beale denied that the motive for the work was to add light and value to the property.
The millionaire claims he had an over-zealous tree surgeon who got carried away while doing work on another tree at the property
Beale’s five-bedroom home is rented out for up to £4,800 in the peak summer months
Beale’s defence say the potential £100,000 increase in value was a ‘drop in the ocean’ for his client
He said: ‘It is a £1.2million house and for anyone to say it has gone up in value by £60,000 is a drop in the ocean.’
Mr Russell asked that their surveyor should look at the value of the property later in the year due to Brexit.
But judge Jonathan Fuller QC said: ‘There is a dull patch in the market so I should seize the opportunity. Find a valuer and that person can put their misgivings and reservations forward. It’s not rocket science.’
He ordered the valuation should be done by the end of April.
The house sits in the middle of the Sandbanks peninsula and is close to the home of former football manager Harry Redknapp and his wife Sandra.
Beale’s case will return to court in September.