Tree in conservation area

Tree in conservation area

Postby COGGY » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:58 pm

I would appreciate some advice regarding a silver birch tree in our neighbours garden, planted only about four years ago, already 30 - 40 feet high. Our neighbours live in a conservation area and the tree is planted very close to our fence. We do not live in a conservation area. Are we entitled to cut off branches hanging over our garden? I appreciate it should be done by him but am certain it will not be. He would need to obtain permission for any work on the tree. How does this affect us? Any help would be much appreciated.

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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby hzatph » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:44 pm

So, the tree is planted in a conservation area and its branches extend outside the conservation area? Is that right? Interesting.
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby COGGY » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:33 pm

Yes it is planted very close to our fence. The neighbours are in a conservation area, they live in a badly maintained Grade 2 listed house, once part of a farm. We live next door in a modern house, where cows used to be fifty years ago.

The neighbours have been told by the Counmcil that it is their responsibility to maintain their tree. We are sure that if they have three sides maintained, the side adjoining our fence will be left to grow. They are not the neigjhbours anyone would choose!!

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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby pottypanda » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:40 pm

I think the best thing to do is check with the local council but usually it's trees with a preservation order you have to be careful with and if they planted it recently then I think that would go in your favour.

I always think about whether someone elses property (like a tree or plant) is really that much of a bother to me before starting to chop things down, it's being done to us and it's not nice to know your neighbours can't tollerate you.

Good luck :)
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby TO » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:33 pm

Hi

COGGY wrote:I would appreciate some advice regarding a silver birch tree in our neighbours garden, planted only about four years ago, already 30 - 40 feet high. Our neighbours live in a conservation area and the tree is planted very close to our fence. We do not live in a conservation area. Are we entitled to cut off branches hanging over our garden? I appreciate it should be done by him but am certain it will not be. He would need to obtain permission for any work on the tree. How does this affect us? Any help would be much appreciated.
You will need to notify the Council of your intention to prune the tree.

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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby Roblewis » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:12 pm

Conservation area rules only apply within the conservation area so I would prune all overhanging as necessary.
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby arborlad » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:46 pm

Roblewis wrote:Conservation area rules only apply within the conservation area so I would prune all overhanging as necessary.


If a tree has protection - the whole of the tree is protected.
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smile...it confuses people
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby TO » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:28 pm

Hi

Roblewis wrote:Conservation area rules only apply within the conservation area so I would prune all overhanging as necessary.
Won't wash in Court. The tree is of the land on which it grows. All the tree, even those bits overhanging a neighbours belong to the tree owner, that is the person on whose land it is growing. Similarly all the tree is protected by the conservation area, because the land it is growing on is a conservation area.

And with an ongoing neighbour dispute, the first thing the tree owner will do is phone the Council to complain that you are damaging/destroying a protected tree, which you are. You must notify the Council.

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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby COGGY » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:20 pm

Thank you all for your advice. The neighbour has already reported us to the Enforcement team for pruning his tree and erecting a privacy panel at the side of his windows above the permitted height. Two years ago they disputed our planning application and had it refused, after previously agreeing to it. He was a Councillor on the planning committee, but I discovered that he had done various work on his cottage without any permission being applied for. As a result the Council took no action against him (due to cost!!!!!!) and we got an amended Planning Permission for a garden room, which is now built. When the Enforcement Officer came last week he had told the neighbour the Council would have to deal with us as they had dealt with him (HOORAY). The Officer told our neighbour the tree was his responsibility, but we know that he will not cut the branches on our side. He has been leaning over the boundary damaging our plants and other things. Two hardy shrubs have died near his windows. Even a winter flowering jasmine growing when we moved here over twenty years ago has been attacked but still survives. We even have a spoon we found under one window. The police have referred us to Victim Support but we are taking steps to protect our property and privacy. We have this year had 1.4 metre wrought iron railings erected around our front garden with a locked gate. Some damage was done to something just outside his boundary window and he told the police he had no idea how it happened, it appeared whilst he was out! Apparently someone came along the road, jumped over our railings (there is no mid-rail to climb over) and damaged the spacer bar which was hidden behind the privacy panel!!!
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby hzatph » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:35 pm

Did he declare an interest and withdraw from the planning committee? He should have done and such things are taken seriously these days. If the planning decision is contrary to policy then appealing may be worthwhile but I recognise too much time has passed this time.
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby COGGY » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:02 pm

Hi hzatph
Thank you for your support. He was on the Planning Committee for some years, and still when he highered the roof of his garage and had it covered in felt without any Planning Permission (on his Grade 2 Listed Building he boasts about). I discovered this when our Permission was refused and I was so angry I rang the Council enquiring about everything he had done. He has also installed 3 UPVC windows, two many years ago and one eighteen months ago. He even lied to the Council that these windows had all been in since 1987 but Google Earth disproves this. However he has now lost his place on the Council and is not actually very popular. One Councillor called him "miserable and belligerant" and another calls him "Golom".
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby hzatph » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:34 am

Given that history his behaviour is not too surprising. I think I would ask the council for permission to prune the tree. If it is not needed then they will say so; if it is needed then you are safe.
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby oorya » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:25 pm

pottypanda wrote:
I always think about whether someone elses property (like a tree or plant) is really that much of a bother to me before starting to chop things down, it's being done to us and it's not nice to know your neighbours can't tollerate you.

Good luck :)


Unless of course it covers a quarter of your garden, fills your flower beds and lawn with leaf litter and blocks out most of the winter sun from your garden.
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby Roblewis » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:47 pm

I would have to argue that there is no specific protection on the tree as it is merely in a conservation area where specific rules apply and has no TPO. It is thus not protected as of right. The OP lives outside of the zone and any vegetation not within the conservation area is not protected. A LA cannot enforce conservation rules on a householder outside of the designated area. If the tree had a TPO the position would be different.

Ask the question of the LA - Do the rules for conservation areas apply outside of the designated area?
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Re: Tree in conservation area

Postby COGGY » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:02 pm

Hi Roblewis
Thank you that is very good advice. The Enforcement Officer came last Thursday to see if we had lowered our privacy panel (we haven't). We asked for a letter to confirm that he is not taking action against us, which he has promised to send. When it comes I will then ask the question. Thank you again.
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