OVERHANGING VEGETATION

JOHN IVES
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OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by JOHN IVES » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:44 pm

Recently a Parish Council friend of mine got involved in a bit of a ruck about a shrub which encroached right over a pavement adjacent to a zebra crossing. She popped a note through the house owner’s door asking them to cut it back but got no reply. The PC then discussed the matter and gave her authority to remove the offending overhang and advised her to deposit the clippings in the house owner’s garden. Then of course the house owner objected and declared that the PC had no authority to touch their hedge.

I agree that the PC acted unlawfully in that it is only the Highway Authority who can pursue such matters under HA1980 S154. When questioned the local Council agreed that this was indeed their responsibility but proffered the opinion that it was however perfectly legal for a member of the public to have effected the removal of the said shrub.

Does anyone have a view on this statement? The only thing that I think can possibly be argued is as it relates to highway obstructions in that you may remove as much of an obstruction so as to enable you to pass. In this case however you could have walked around this partial obstruction.

despair
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by despair » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:34 am

Since the homeqoner had been politely requested to remove the trespass it really matters not who did it in the end

Difference being the Council would charge the homeowner for the work whereas PC member did not

Far too many people fail to cut back vegetation that impeded pavements just as too many park on pavements without thought for those with twin pushchairs or wheelchair users

Treeman
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by Treeman » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:11 am

JOHN IVES wrote:Does anyone have a view on this statement? The only thing that I think can possibly be argued is as it relates to highway obstructions in that you may remove as much of an obstruction so as to enable you to pass. In this case however you could have walked around this partial obstruction.

Any obstruction of a footpath is quite significant. If it means you cant get past with a pushchair or similar means the path entire path is effecively useless.

Treeman
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by Treeman » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:17 am

despair wrote:Since the homeqoner had been politely requested to remove the trespass it really matters not who did it in the end

Difference being the Council would charge the homeowner for the work whereas PC member did not

Far too many people fail to cut back vegetation that impeded pavements just as too many park on pavements without thought for those with twin pushchairs or wheelchair users
Since the homeqoner had been politely requested to remove the trespass it really matters not who did it in the end
Well actually it does, the PC member is entitled to ask and of self help but has absolutely no right of enforcement on behalf of a third party.
Difference being the Council would charge the homeowner for the work whereas PC member did not
That’s a generalisation, the council can and may charge but recovering the cost of cutting a bit of hedge is probably going to cost more than the cutting. Many don’t bother.

JOHN IVES
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by JOHN IVES » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:58 am

I have no problem with what the Council and PC can and cannot do, what I am unsure of is the Council's statement that a member of the public can legally cut back a house owners overhanging shrub /tree where that transgression is over a footway

arbor-guy
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by arbor-guy » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:22 am

Motorists and pedestrians can bring about action to have an obstacle removed, but it must bring the action against the highway authority for failing to carry out its statutory duty, or against the tree/shrub owner for nuisance. They shouldn't take it upon themselves to carry out any pruning.

JOHN IVES
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by JOHN IVES » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:54 am

Absolutely my view ie S130 (assert and protect). Just remind me though the pavement is indeed part of the highway ?
I seem to recall case law on this was it Seekings v Clark ?

TO
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by TO » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:35 pm

Hi

Big Society one - Hedge nil

And to think I was so sceptical of the idea.

TO

lauren55
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by lauren55 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:05 pm

I'm surprised with all the cuts coming in local authorities they'll be any money for anyone to approve or disapprove hedge cutting requests or anything else for that matter!

JOHN IVES
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by JOHN IVES » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:01 pm

You are of course absolutely right in that everything will get busted down to a local level and that will mean that anything goes and might is right. Still it was nice while it lasted

w3526602
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by w3526602 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:04 am

Hi,

Wasn't somebody recently told that they were not allowed to mow the grass verge?

602
602 (That was my "last three")

mr sheen
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by mr sheen » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:39 am

Many thanks to the community-focussed person who carried out such actions on behalf of crutches and wheelchair users, child buggy pushers, the elderly, and all others who have enough difficulties passing along some footpaths without the added hazards associated with fighting their way through and past overhanging vegetation.

Anyone who doesn't want vegetation cut back by people that are adversely affected by it, will keep it away from footpaths, neighbours' property etc.

JOHN IVES
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by JOHN IVES » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:57 pm

Roadside verges are in fact part of the public rights of way network and the Highways Authority have duty to keep them in good order and usable by both walkkers and riders

gripodkin
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by gripodkin » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:53 pm

The Highway runs from the far edge of one verge, to the far edge of the opposite verge.

It consists of the Carriageway (the bit the cars et al drive on), the Footway (peds only) and the grassy/soily/rubbish strewn bits up to the boundary with whoever owns the adjoining land.

Some legislation refers to Highways, some to Roads, so knowing the difference can be useful sometimes, but in this context its not relevant.

It is not an offence to clear a Highway of an obstruction to continue a journey, but it is an offence under the Highways Act (which covers rights of way as well as Roads & Highways) to go out and clear an obstruction if that is the point of your journey.

As the PC are not the body charged with maintaining Highways, but rather the Highway Authority (County Council, HA etc) then they cannot authorise the clearing of the footway as described, and your lady has undoubtedly committed some heinous act.

Dont think she should worry though, the prosecuting agency would be the Police then CPS, who apply the 'public interest' criteria - have the public suffered as a result of her action? the benefit to the public outweighs any wrongdoing in this case, so NFA.

The matter is different for FootPATHS, which are a public right of way over privately owned land, for which Parish Councils have a different responsibility, although even then I think there has to be some sort of formal agreement in place ( although I suspect this is one of the various 'responsibilities' that will soon be passed to the PC as no-one else can afford it!)

Regards

G.

SCD4
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Re: OVERHANGING VEGETATION

Post by SCD4 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:43 pm

Who cares about the rights of the person who could not care about others with children etc trying to use the foot path.

My wife use to take the same approach with cars parked illegally on the food path. No she would say to me. I am not taking my baby into the road to go around them. But through. ………….and if the space was tight and the pram rubbed against the car……well that’s there fault, she would say.


Stop crying about your rights and be responsible or else others will.
If they need to call themselves an....... expert......than you know there not.

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