Neighbours insurer wants to cut down ALL my trees

Re: Neighbours insurer wants to cut down ALL my trees

Postby Treeman » Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:03 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi arsie,

Building control had to be satisfied before allowing work to start...

this is exactly the point I was trying to make - Building Control do care.

Kind regards, Mac



The fact that this keeps coming up underlines the point that building control don't always get it right, they are improving but its a slow process.
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Re: Neighbours insurer wants to cut down ALL my trees

Postby Roblewis » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:05 am

Please do not forget that BC is a commercial service even when using that of the LA. For the sake of repeat business they can be less than careful at times. I find their lack of knowledge of some individuals for some areas of knowledge frightening at times. Hence some inspectors allow things another would not.

Insurers always look for the lowest cost option and it does seem that they are having a try on here. Without detailed analysis the identification of tree roots for individual tree species is totally a no no. They are obfuscating hoping to find another insurer or owner at risk. Tell them to micturate elsewhere. Even if the roots could be identified as from your tree there are many better solutions as treeman suggests. A TPO might even be an option.
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Re: Neighbours insurer wants to cut down ALL my trees

Postby APC » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:03 pm

Treeman wrote:
richkaos wrote:Thanks to all who have replied

I have now received the engineers report and i must say that things aren't quite correct in what they say, for starters the neighbors conifers are not mentioned and looks like they are staying, so she can keep her trees but mine have to come down????? OK so my trees are larger but vegetation is vegetation and they are right near the effected area.

My question is why is it only the extension that is suffering, surely if this was an issue my house and my other neighbors houses would all be effected by this alleged shrinking clay??

In the report though the cracking inside her extension is quite bad which makes me believe that its down to bad building or in sufficient footings, if that much damage had been caused by our local vegetation my house would certainly be suffering.

And an update on my insurance......................I'm not covered, be it liability or otherwise, they will offer no defense for my case, basically im on my own on this one, surely the whole reason we take out buildings insurance etc is to cover us for when un expected issues arise that may cost us a lot of money, at the moment its just a piece of paper that cost about £350..annually


The answer to that is simple, the extension has a datum. The original house has finished settling and now the mass of the extension is settling and or responding to fluctuations in the soil level differently to the main structure. the main structure provides a datum that makes this obvious.

Many add on structured are built under PD rights and don't get the same scrutiny that a full planning application would.

Ask them if they have considered other measures to mitigate the alleged damage, the very mention of underpinning (expense) will rattle a few cages and focus their attention.

If you do have to remove the trees the cost of that is insignificant compared to underpinning and most insurers will fund the tree work rather than run the risk of having to fund the underpinning.

Another option is for you to sever the roots at the boundary and install a membrane.


I was caught on the fly by a subsidence case earlier. The surveyors called to hurry us up on felling our tree (happening to mention that it should be more straightforward with us than the privately owned tree also ordered to be removed, perhaps seeing an LA as a soft-touch). I don't deal with subsidence cases myself but mentioned in passing that given the amenity value of our tree, that perhaps an engineering solution might be found, such as underpinning the new extension. The guy got the hump and said we should have maintained our tree to prevent this from ever happening (mature oak approx 80cm dbh, open grown in a park), unsure how this was a relevant answer! We've had an arb report from them but have been promised further evidence (but we can dispense with this hassle and just get rid of our tree to speed things up and avoid any unnecessary costs, how charitable of them!).
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Re: Neighbours insurer wants to cut down ALL my trees

Postby snyggapa » Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:01 am

I think the point with regards to building control is twofold.

Firstly if you apply for planning permission for an extension etc. This does not automatically involve BC , you have to call them in (although the PP application may alert them, I don't know if this is actively policed by BC)

Secondly if the extension is permitted development then you just get on and do it, no need to involve planning and hence no way for BC to be alerted that there is something to monitor.

If it was me, I would ask for a copy of structural calcs and the BC signoff for the extension , to prove that it was built/designed with the pre-existing tree in mind and appropriately signed off as adequate...
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Re: Neighbours insurer wants to cut down ALL my trees

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:35 am

Hi snyggapa,

If it was me, I would ask for a copy of structural calcs and the BC signoff for the extension , to prove that it was built/designed with the pre-existing tree in mind and appropriately signed off as adequate...

me too - I agree with your point about BC potentially being bypassed if it's PD (rather than BC being shoddy).

Kind regards, Mac
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