Council Tree Destroys Fence & Patio Set

Council Tree Destroys Fence & Patio Set

Postby Dave_Cassidy1 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:38 am

Hi Everyone,

Hope someone can advise me a little on this. I recently purchased a new house, which backs onto some council owned woodland and a pond. During some fairly windy conditions, one of the very tall pine trees which is positioned on the woodland snapped mid way up and the top section (about 8 meters) landed on my fence and patio set breaking both, as well as a couple of other small items. I phoned the council and they immediately came and chainsawed the tree up and took it away, and the guys told me to fill out the council claims form to claim for the damage. So I got quotes for the repairs etc.. and included photographs of the damage and sent this in, which the council passed onto their 3rd party claims handling company. After a 3 month period, the claims handling company have came back and said that they are not willing to cover the cost of the repairs because the council were not aware that the tree was going to fall down.

Is this an acceptable response, I would have thought that it is their responsibility to ensure that the trees do not pose a danger to public or property, in addition my neighbours said that a tree fell a couple of years ago on the same land (although the land was not council owned at the time), which I think should have made the trees high risk and the council should have had some sort of inspection regime set up, there are only a handful of the tall trees to check. I wouldn't have been so bothered if the repairs were only minor, but the quote for the fence alone was £1200 which is a lot to stump up

Many Thanks

Dave :?
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Re: Council Tree Destroys Fence & Patio Set

Postby Collaborate » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:01 am

that's not acceptable.

Have a look at this by Aviva.
http://www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/do ... _trees.pdf

It suggests that the council should have inspected the trees at least annually.

Ask for a copy of their inspection records. If they have none (and it would be worthwhile getting a tree specialist of your own, before they remove the evidence, to confirm that had they inspected the tree it would have been obvious that it was at risk of coming down), you may want to take them to the small claims court.
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Re: Council Tree Destroys Fence & Patio Set

Postby Dave_Cassidy1 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:58 pm

Thats brilliant information, thanks very much.

I'll look into the small claims court
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Re: Council Tree Destroys Fence & Patio Set

Postby APC » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:57 am

Had the tree been inspected in line with their current tree safety policy and was the tree failure foreseeable?

If inspected and there were no underlying defects that would have been noted from a routine inspection then the council's response is likely the correct one. Trees merely being there, at whatever height, does not make them guilty by itself.
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Re: Council Tree Destroys Fence & Patio Set

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:10 am

Hi Dave,

what do you mean by "fairly windy conditions"?

that is an important factor that will need to be considered.

Kind regards, Mac
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