News, Culture & Society

Sheikh Mohammed ‘illegally chopping historic trees’ around his Surrey mansion

Billionaire Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed ‘illegally chops down 30 historic trees around his Surrey mansion to make way for a barbed wire fence’

  • Sheikh Mohammed is accused of illegally chopping down historic trees in Surrey
  • The trees around his £75 million estate were subject to Preservation Order  
  • He also erected a metal fence after getting retrospective planning permission

The billionaire ruler of Dubai has been accused of illegally chopping down 30 historic trees around his Surrey property to make way for a barbed wire fence.

The trees around the £75 million Longcross estate of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum were subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) drawn up by Surrey County Council in 1948.

But photographs and Google Earth show that the trees – some hundreds of years old – are no longer there.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been accused of illegally chopping down 30 historic trees around his £75 million Longcross estate in Surrey to make way for a barbed wire fence

Sheikh Mohammed – who has acrimoniously split from his wife Princess Haya bint Hussein – erected the metal fence in December, gaining retrospective planning permission six months later.

Locals say it looks like a ‘concentration camp’, and say it blocks vital pathways for wildlife. 

But Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) approved the fence and denied protected trees had been felled.

When the council was told there was a map outlining the TPO online, officials said there was not enough evidence to pursue legal action.

The trees, some hundreds of years old, were subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) drawn up by Surrey County Council in 1948. Photographs and Google Earth show that the trees – some hundreds of years old – are no longer there

The trees, some hundreds of years old, were subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) drawn up by Surrey County Council in 1948. Photographs and Google Earth show that the trees – some hundreds of years old – are no longer there

Sheikh Mohammed – who has acrimoniously split from his wife Princess Haya bin Hussein – erected the metal fence in December, gaining retrospective planning permission six months later

Sheikh Mohammed – who has acrimoniously split from his wife Princess Haya bin Hussein – erected the metal fence in December, gaining retrospective planning permission six months later

TPOs make it an offence ‘to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree’ with serious cases going to Crown Court, with unlimited fines.

Aerial views also show a large area of fir trees has been removed to make way for part of the fence, which comes under the jurisdiction of Forestry England. 

The Woodland Trust’s Jack Taylor said: ‘We would urge anyone with evidence of alleged wrongdoing to contact the Forestry Commission.’

One local said: ‘Runnymede Council claim they don’t know who cut the trees down or when it happened – and laughably say that no direct evidence exists. 

Locals say it looks like a ‘concentration camp’, and say it blocks vital pathways for wildlife

Locals say it looks like a ‘concentration camp’, and say it blocks vital pathways for wildlife

Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) approved the fence and denied protected trees had been felled. When the council was told there was a map outlining the TPO online, officials said there was not enough evidence to pursue legal action

Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) approved the fence and denied protected trees had been felled. When the council was told there was a map outlining the TPO online, officials said there was not enough evidence to pursue legal action

Princess Haya, 45, has fled to London from the United Arab Emirates. The sixth wife of the Dubai ruler, she has applied for a protection order and child custody

Princess Haya, 45, has fled to London from the United Arab Emirates. The sixth wife of the Dubai ruler, she has applied for a protection order and child custody

Who do they imagine did it? The Lumberjack Fairy? 

The council could fine Maktoum up to £20,000 a tree to the benefit of residents. They only need to look at the stumps to see they were alive and healthy.’

But RBC said: ‘There has been no direct evidence provided to the council or any evidence that can be verified by the council, of the identity of anyone who carried out the works, nor the dates of the works, nor details of the works.’

Princess Haya, 45, has fled to London from the United Arab Emirates. 

The sixth wife of the Dubai ruler, she has applied for a protection order and child custody. The sheikh, worth £9 billion, bought the estate, near Chobham, in the 1990s.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.