Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby Crystal2010 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:32 pm

First-time poster here.

I live in one of a row of four cottages off a private path, set back from the main road. In front of the cottages is a converted chapel with a stone boundary wall between us. A business is now being run from the converted premises. At the business side of the boundary wall, there is a hedge of laurels with some intermingled trees. The trees have grown to the height of the roof, the hedges pretty close to that.

The boundary wall has now collapsed in front of my next-door neightbour's property and partially collapsed in front of mine. I have checked the deeds for both my property and the business property but it's not clear who owns the boundary wall. I believe the wall has collapsed due to the hedge and tree branches pushing it over. The light is also being blocked out of my south-facing garden.

Last August, my neighbour wrote to the business owner, requesting that he cut some height from the hedges and trees. Shortly after that, he wandered up the path as me and my husband happened to be in the garden. He asked whether we had written and what we would like him to do with regard to the trees. We told him we were of the same opinion as our neighbour and for some height needed to be taken off. We pointed out approximately what we felt would be a reasonable height and that was the last we heard until a couple of weeks later when he thinned the laurels out on his side, having taken no height of whatsoever.

My neighbour wrote again a couple of months later, no response. I wrote last month and also telephoned. When I spoke to his PA, she said the owner was confused about what we wanted doing with the trees as he had had two different requests. Having checked with my neighbours, we're all of the same opinion. When I mentioned the boundary wall collapsing, she said this was because my next-door neighbour had removed some conifers from her side. I don't think this is correct as the boundary wall has been pushed over from the other side.

She said that she would ask him to call me. I also suggested that I would be happy to meet up face-to-face with the business owner as I wanted to work with him on getting a solution. To date, no call and no correspondence.

My neighbour and I drafted a letter which we both signed, again requesting some height to be taken from the trees. We said that we weren't clear on what the issue was as he had not contacted us and if there was a problem to let us know. Again, no response.

I have in the meantime spoken to the Tree Officer at my local Council. There is no TPO and we are not in a conservation area. He said to keep writing, or my only other alternative was to claim from the business insurance for the damaged wall (whose ownership we are not even clear on).

Having discussed this further with my neighbour, we are prepared to pay for the cost of the trees to be reduced in height and for the hedges to be pruned. We also want to remove the branches which overhang our property, and are aware these need to be offered back.

If I write again to offer to pay for this work to be done, and he does not respond, I am assuming I cannot just carry out the work? Or can I carry out the work of cutting the overhanging branches without his permission? In that instance, how do I dispose if he doesn't make arrangements to be offered them? Obviously, due to his lack of response previously, I'm not holding out much hope of a response to my offer to pay.

I am quite prepared to pay the Council to start complaint proceedings, but I would like to have explored all avenues first. I know he is not obliged to cut the trees.

Any advice would be welcome.
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby cobdale » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:52 pm

I think it's a good idea to offer to do the work and I think he will reply positively ,years ago I had something similar I had bushes/trees growing over the back of a mans garage when it rained the water from the leaves had started seeping in making the garage damp,two or three times he asked me to cut them,and I kept saying I would,but to be honest I was just too busy and had no interest in doing it.anyway I landed up one day ,and I,m not lying he had massacred them and cleaned everything up. I suppose he just got a fit of temper and decided sod it.anyway it suited me and it obviously suited him
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby Crystal2010 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:05 pm

Funnily enough that's basically what he said today when he finally got in touch. He "couldn't care less about the trees and we could do what we liked with them". I asked whether he wanted the branches back and he said no but we could dump them on his land if we wanted. We're trying to get him to confirm in writing but have said if he doesn't then we'll carry on with the work.
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby cobdale » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:23 pm

good I,m glad it worked out for you ,I would,ent bother him about it in writing,that will be just another job to him ,I know you may feel better covered with a letter,but I would just crack on
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby Crystal2010 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:53 pm

Yep, I guess it will. We just sent an email with a delivery receipt so that'll have to do. Getting a quote tomorrow for the work. I still don't actually know what type of trees they are. But there are mini versions spouting up all over my garden
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby cobdale » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:05 am

ah we'll it was ent a waste of time joining the garden law forum then lol
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby Crystal2010 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:17 pm

Well the forum's a good source of information so not entirely wasted. Quote came in at £250 to turn the laurel into a proper hedge rather than the straggle of a mess it is at the moment and to cut a fee feet of what turn out to be Ash trees. Bloke who came to see doesn't even reckon they were planted there, though how he can tell this I don't know
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby arborlad » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:57 pm

Crystal2010 wrote:Well the forum's a good source of information so not entirely wasted. Quote came in at £250 to turn the laurel into a proper hedge rather than the straggle of a mess it is at the moment and to cut a fee feet of what turn out to be Ash trees. Bloke who came to see doesn't even reckon they were planted there, though how he can tell this I don't know



'though how he can tell this I don't know'
....................because it's his job to know it :) Ash is known as a pioneer species, something that will grow where few other things will, Ash is very good at self-regeneration.
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smile...it confuses people
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby kipper » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:08 pm

Ash seedlings are as pain in the backside if you have a tree in the vicinity.
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby Crystal2010 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:35 pm

I'm just impressed that the experts can tell the difference between a tree that's been planted and one that's self seeded. These have grown to above roof height in the 7 years we've been here. And pollarded by persons unknown along the way (probably by the previous owner of the business). And yes, the little beggars get everywhere, even in tiny containers
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby arborlad » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:34 am

Crystal2010 wrote:I'm just impressed that the experts can tell the difference between a tree that's been planted and one that's self seeded.


Probably as many as 99% of the ash trees found in a domestic garden are self-sets, if you can identify an ash tree - you can recognise a self-set.
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Re: Trees/Hedges on a Business Premises

Postby Roblewis » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:22 pm

Good bad news though is that you may sudenly loose them all if the current disease gathers pace. But then you may loose some that you want to keep especially the ornamental ones.
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