Tall trees

Tall trees

Postby aquarius88 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:34 pm

Hi,

I have 2 tall conifers in my garden and have done with no problem for years. A new neighbour has recently moved in and decided she's not happy with them. The conifers are planted about 10 yards apart widthways, so only one is near her garden, the other being quite a way away. I've received a letter from the local council saying they are coming to visit me regarding them as they have had a report about "2 large trees that are severely overgrown and overhanging neighbouring properties". They aren't actually 'overhanging' as conifers grow straight up. Do I have any rights please?

Thanks
aquarius88
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:14 am

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Re: Tall trees

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:02 pm

Hi aquarius88,

you have the right to enjoy having 2 tall conifers in your garden, unless the authorities deem them to be causing a problem for others - whereby you may be ordered to reduce the height of one or both.

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 5970
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Tall trees

Postby aquarius88 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:13 pm

Thank you for your fast reply Mac.

Could you also tell me please if it's possible to reduce the height and stop them from growing tall again? Or is that a really stupid question?!
aquarius88
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:14 am

Re: Tall trees

Postby despair » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:14 pm

A really good tree surgeon can top them out for you but unless the 2 trees are not touching each other your neighbour has wasted her time and money complaining
despair
 
Posts: 16026
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am

Re: Tall trees

Postby Collaborate » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:29 pm

For the LA to be able to take any action they have to firstly assess the 2 trees as constituting a hedge. If they are 10 yards apart then they will not constitute a hedge.

this is the wording on the guidance given by the government:

The trees or shrubs in the hedge may have been closely planted and become so entangled that they appear as a solid green wall. In such circumstances, the matter is straightforward: the hedge is evidently capable of blocking light or views. Other cases may be more difficult to judge. The trees or shrubs may be more widely spaced so their branches are not touching. Branches might have fallen off or been removed so the canopy is lifted. Or the growth might be straggly and foliage sparse. Such cases must be assessed individually, on their particular merits. But, if individual trees or shrubs are so widely spaced, or the gaps in the foliage are so extensive, that it is possible to see what lies behind them, then the hedge might fall outside
the Act.
Collaborate
 
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:17 am

Re: Tall trees

Postby arborlad » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:35 pm

aquarius88 wrote:.............. I've received a letter from the local council saying they are coming to visit me regarding them..............Thanks



Does the letter have a heading of High Hedges Act or similar? There is a process to go through and (generally) a fee to pay before it gets as far as a visit.




.....that are severely overgrown and overhanging neighbouring properties".



The overhang - whether it exist or not, would not be part of the councils remit.

We would need to know the species and variety before knowing what work - if any, is appropriate.

It could be the trees are mature and wont get any taller.

Topping of trees is considered bad practice.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7359
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Tall trees

Postby APC » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:21 pm

See above about checking whether this is under a 'high hedges' complaint.

Have you been made aware of any dispute whatsoever regarding these two trees? For a council to even validate such a complaint, they should be asking for correspondence with the tree/hedge owner to show that all other avenues, including mediation, have been exhausted.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/high-hedges - all relevant guidance for your perusal.
APC
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:37 pm

Re: Tall trees

Postby stufe35 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:43 pm

Sounds like an intial visit to see if the complaint is valid or actionable in any way. Unfortunately once someone has complained councils have to follow up so they can demonstrate they have fulfilled their duties.

As muted above it would seem unlikely if the trees do not overhang your neighbours property that they will have any right to request action from yourself.

My suggestion would be to arrange to meet the council representative, listen carefully to what they have to say, and record it as accurately as you can. If they start to say you have to trim the trees etc. make no commitments or statements other than to say 'thank you for your advice , I will be getting what you have said checked out by a legal expert before determining my course of action'

If they do make demands ask them to put it in writing...(council people are sometimes prone to saying what suits them for an easy life..just because people often conform without questioning their authority) by asking them to put it in writing it might make them think a little more about the vadility of what they are saying.

Then in the first instance report back to this site.
stufe35
 
Posts: 754
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:06 pm

Re: Tall trees

Postby APC » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:29 pm

stufe35 wrote:Sounds like an intial visit to see if the complaint is valid or actionable in any way. Unfortunately once someone has complained councils have to follow up so they can demonstrate they have fulfilled their duties.

As muted above it would seem unlikely if the trees do not overhang your neighbours property that they will have any right to request action from yourself.

My suggestion would be to arrange to meet the council representative, listen carefully to what they have to say, and record it as accurately as you can. If they start to say you have to trim the trees etc. make no commitments or statements other than to say 'thank you for your advice , I will be getting what you have said checked out by a legal expert before determining my course of action'

If they do make demands ask them to put it in writing...(council people are sometimes prone to saying what suits them for an easy life..just because people often conform without questioning their authority) by asking them to put it in writing it might make them think a little more about the vadility of what they are saying.

Then in the first instance report back to this site.


Nah, validation is desk based. If no history of attempt at resolution, it's sent back. Council shouldn't be carrying out site visits without it.
APC
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:37 pm

Re: Tall trees

Postby aquarius88 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:50 pm

Hi again all, and thanks very much for all your replies - they are very much appreciated.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, I've no option to but to have both trees cut down. I'm suffering with numerous health conditions and I'm a tenant. Being a tenant leaves me with virtually no rights, and any rights I may have are void as I have no strength left for any more battles. So the neighbour wins.

To answer your questions though - the trees are Leylandii and are 10 yards apart. They are situated at the bottom of a long garden side by side (ie., not together against the neighbours garden, if you understand what I mean?), when I look down at them they stand like two goal posts (only taller!!) - only one might be considered 'a danger' to the neighbour as it is very tall and she considers it to be in danger of falling on her house. It would seem, in the event of this happening, it would somehow bypass the house nearest to the tree and just land on hers (even though it isn't tall enough to reach). There are no overhangs as these type of trees grow straight upwards - not even a branch contacts with anything around it. I could understand if the neighbour nearest to the tree had complained as it does block their light, however, they have lived there longer than I have (20 years) and have never once complained about that or voiced any concerns of a strong wind blowing it over. In fact, as long as I've lived here I've never had one single complaint about my garden/trees. She's just moved in and complained within weeks.

Last year an agent from the Electricity Board visited regarding mine and other neighbours' trees/hedges which needed cutting back due to them being near the electricity cables and I'd thought at the time they'd cut back the Leylandii, but no, it was the hedge they needed to trim, which I didn't have a problem with. In fact, when I asked about the trees and any strong winds, the bloke said "no they aren't going anywhere love, perfectly safe". So there you go.

If I were younger, healthier and owned my own house there'd have been no question me battling this unreasonable person. Still, what goes around comes around.

Again, very grateful for your advice.
aquarius88
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:14 am

Re: Tall trees

Postby despair » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:32 pm

You are being bullied into removing trees for absolutely no good or legal reason whatsoever

I cannot see your neighbours have any rights whatever to ask let alone bully and as for tree falling if you saw Leylandi roots and how they spread you would soon know its rubbish

However to suggest Leylandi grow straight up with no overhang are you sure they are leylandi and not some other conifer
despair
 
Posts: 16026
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am

Re: Tall trees

Postby Collaborate » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:17 pm

If you are a tenant you should check the terms of your tenancy agreement. What does that say about you felling trees?

Unless that gives you the right to fell trees (highly unlikely) then you must not do so. The trees belong to your landlord, and you can no more cut them down than you can demolish the house.

You have not posted on here why you think you have to remove the tree(s).
Collaborate
 
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:17 am

Re: Tall trees

Postby arborlad » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:45 pm

aquarius88 wrote: I've received a letter from the local council..............

Thanks



Can you copy the letter onto here please - leave out any names and addresses.

A photo of the trees might also help.

Without knowing more, it does seem like someone is exceeding their authority and you are being pressured into doing something you don't want to do, and possibly shouldn't do.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7359
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Tall trees

Postby mr sheen » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:58 pm

The key issue here is that the OP is a 'tenant'. .? Council tenant? If so the council are entitled to manage their property according to the lease.

If a private tenant, the owner of the property has the right to insist that action is taken that avoids a dispute that would make the property difficult to sell.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2076
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Tall trees

Postby arborlad » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:02 pm

aquarius88 wrote:Hi,............I have 2 tall conifers in my garden...........Thanks



Worth pointing out that tall doesn't automatically equate to dangerous or some other wrong, other factors have to come into play such as being part of a group of trees where some are felled and the remainder are left exposed to the elements - not the case here I don't think.

Two leylandii planted a good distance apart with good ground conditions and no competition from surrounding trees are quite capable of growing into two, tall, straight, trees.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7359
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 
Next

Return to Trees

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests