What to do?

What to do?

Postby Merv » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:49 pm

Hi everyone!

My local council have several 30m poplars planted in the 50s on the opposite side of our road spaced maybe 3-4m apart and outside our house.

They are on the south side and cut out the light during certain hours...they also overhang our property and are a problem with things like filling the gutter with leaves/catkins and bird droppings on the roof from crows roosting. Also since August two large branches have come down in winds righting off two vehicles as well as breaking slates on my roof.

The council's tree inspector has recently reported that the trees are healthy and that action is not required and that they are not liable as per their management policies for problem things like sap, leaves and bird droppings.

I'm now having to think about escalating things by way of legal action and would really appreciate any advice on this subject as this is an avenue I've never been down.

Many thanks in advance.

Merv
Merv
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:39 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: What to do?

Postby mr sheen » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:12 pm

The council have to assess their trees. The tree officer has assessed them and classified them as healthy and not requiring action, so they have met their obligations. You cant force them to do anything else. If the trees overhang your roof and the branches are damaging tiles, then you can consult the tree officer to request that you can cut the tree branches back and they will probably allow you to do that although they may restrict the extent of works.

Trees shed leaves as part of their natural cycle, birds live in trees and trees produce sap so the Council cannot be held responsible for these natural events.

You could pay for an independent tree survey of your own and iF this contradicts the council tree survey, you could submit it to them and ask them to reassess the trees. However it's more likely that there will be a general concensus that the trees are ok since they have already been assessed.

Not sure what type of legal action you are thinking about since the council own and control the trees, the trees have been surveyed by a professional and no action was considered necessary. Even if a branch falls on a car in a storm now the car owner will claim on his own insurance and his insurance company will consider whether to pursue the owner of the tree but probably wouldn't bother in this case since they would probably lose since the council have fulfilled their obligations and responsibilities. The insurance company would probably insist the car owner doesn't park the car under trees in a storm which is good advice generally.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2076
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: What to do?

Postby Merv » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:19 pm

Thanks Mr Sheen...what you say makes sense but what I don't get is that the council's trees have branches that are overhanging my boundary as well as my house. I can't simply trim them back because the branches are 10m plus above the height of my property which is two storey.

Can I not take legal action to get the council to trim their trees so they don't overhang my property if they refuse to do this work?

It's ironic really as a few years ago I lives somewhere where we had a tree and it overhung our boundary onto the pavement/road below and they were very quick to write to me insisting I sort it out else they would prosecute!
Merv
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:39 am

Re: What to do?

Postby mr sheen » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:00 am

You have the right to remove overhanging vegetation from your property at your own expense. However with trees you have to check that they are not protected in any way. A tree surgeon will remove branches from any height but can cost a bit. If the trees are not protected and you are not in a conservation area or other restrictions, you have the right to cut back the branches that overhang your property, if you choose not to because of the height then that is your choice but you may find little sympathy from the legal system if you later complain since you had a remedy but failed to take it.

When property owners allow vegetation to encroach on land used by the public eg highways, the council can get the property owner to remove it or remove it and get the property owner to pay ie we all have responsibility to keep our vegetation within our boundary so it doesn't interfere with the roads for safety reasons.

Where vegetation overhangs from one property owner to another, we all have the same rights to remove the overhanging vegetation at our own cost. This is the case even when the neighbouring landowner is the council. With trees, we have to check that it is ok to cut back anything on a tree ie that there is no conservation restrictions or preservation orders, before taking action.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2076
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: What to do?

Postby Merv » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:48 am

Thanks again Mr Sheen, I appreciate your advice on this matter.

So basically if my tree branches overhang my boundary and above the public highway then I'm responsible for cutting them back....however, if the council's trees overhang my property then they are not responsible for cutting them back?

That hardly seems fair to me...have I missed something?
Merv
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:39 am

Re: What to do?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:12 pm

Merv wrote:Thanks again Mr Sheen, I appreciate your advice on this matter.

So basically if my tree branches overhang my boundary and above the public highway then I'm responsible for cutting them back....however, if the council's trees overhang my property then they are not responsible for cutting them back?

That hardly seems fair to me...have I missed something?
yes - the reason you can be ordered to keep the highway clear is because of an Act of Parliament which gives a local authority (who may or may not own the land the highway passes over) the statutory power to issue such an order.

otherwise they'd have to the landowner to do the same - but it isn't the landowner's tree obstructing the highway is it...

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 5969
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am


Return to Trees

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests