Roots damaging neighbour's driveway

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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:06 pm

Roots damaging neighbour's driveway

Post by nottinghamguy99 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:54 pm

Towards the bottom of my garden, just within my boundary wall, i have a very tall poplar tree. The roots appear to have raised my footpath, which runs right by the tree and also, according to the neighbour, who's bungalow is several metres away from the tree (on the opposite side of the wall), has caused damage to their driveway. The neighbour's son-in-law, who originally lived at the property, did a bit of a tarzan act a few years ago, chopped off some of the higher branches and, in the process, left a rope tightly tied to one of the branches. About a year ago, in exceptionally high winds, half of the top part of the tree came down, probably as a result of his efforts at d.i.y tree surgery. The tree has been up ever since i moved to the property with my late parents, over 30 years ago and, apart from this one incident, has barely wavered, even in gale force winds. This man visits his mother-in-law each week and, a few days ago, appeared with a so-called "tree surgeon" friend of his, walked down to the tree and stood there looking up at it. I am in ill health, suffering from M.E., chronich asthma and agoraphobia. As well as this, i have also been on prozac for a considerable time. As a result of all this, i only receive income support, as i have never been able to work. I got myself in such a state that, despite all this, i somehow managed to force myself to go out and ask my neighbour's son-in-law what he was doing, only to be told he was planning on cutting the whole of the tree (approx' 100ft) down. I had previously contacted a tree surgeon myself who, after coming round and inspecting the tree, said that the bottom half of the tree was rock solid and going nowhere but, if i wanted to err on the side of caution, i could have the top half cut. I agreed, that when i had the funds, i would have this done. However, this woman's son-in-law insists the whole tree has to come down, saying the roots have obviously damaged the driveway and could well be damaging the foundations of the bungalow. Unfortunately, because of my low income, i have never been able to afford house insurance. I have said that i am willing to have the top part cut and, if he was in agreement, would pay half towards the cost of digging up their drive and cutting through any roots on their side. I have a few questions regarding this situation, which i hope readers can help me with :-

1) Can they go ahead and just cut the whole tree down without my permission ?
2) If they agreed with what i was willing to do, and cut through any roots on their side, would this then weaken the tree, putting it at risk of falling, even though the height had been reduced by half ?
3) Can he take legal action and force me to pay for any damage caused to their driveway, foundations, etc ... - even though i am only receiving income support ?
4) What are the chances of getting a TPO granted in this situation ?
5) Who is it that could say, categorically, that the roots have caused the damage to their driveway and, possibly, their foundations - a tree surgeon, surveyor, etc ... ?

Many thanks !

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