A MAN who ‘destroyed the canopies’ of two pine trees in the garden of his £1.2m home in Sandbanks may have increased the value of the property by £100,000, a court heard yesterday.

Trevor Beale, who lives in prestigious Grasmere Road, allegedly asked a tree surgeon to carry out work to the pines in January last year.

However, the 58-year-old says he did no such thing, and blamed the tree surgeon for “getting rather carried away” and carrying out work that hadn’t been asked for.

Beale admitted two counts of breaching a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) at Poole Magistrates’ Court late last year. The case was then committed to Bournemouth Crown Court for confiscation proceedings.

Tom Horder, prosecuting on behalf of Poole council, said branches from the pines were overhanging the defendant’s garden.

“There was a period of high winds. A tree at the front of the house was damaged,” Mr Horder said.

“[Beale] 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.

“We say this was a deliberate act to improve the rear of the house and let in the light.”

Two surveyors contracted by the prosecution have estimated the benefit to the defendant as being between £60,000 and £100,000. This is contested by Beale and his legal team.

Mark Ruffell, mitigating, said the exact benefit cannot be accurately valued because of ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

“The valuation of properties is a very difficult matter at the moment, especially when we are dealing with high-end properties,” he said.

“There’s a dull patch in the market so I should seize on that opportunity,” Judge Jonathan Fuller QC replied.

“Find a valuer and that person can put their misgivings and reservations forward.”

He added: “It’s not rocket science.”

Mr Ruffell said: “It’s a £1.2m house. For someone to say it has gone up by £60,000 is a drop in the ocean.”

However, the judge overruled his arguments and said a valuation needs to be done by the end of April – weeks after the UK is set to formally leave the EU.

The case will return to the court in September for a further hearing.