Tree height and Upstairs neighbour

Tree height and Upstairs neighbour

Postby likegreenthings » Wed May 29, 2013 10:47 pm

Hall, I am new to the forum and hope for some advice. I live in the lower maisonette of a north facing four floor Victorian terrace house in London. The front garden (area) is assigned to my flat as is half of the back garden.

There is a laurel shrub/tree in the front garden which is about the height of the top windows (ie fourth floor) of the building. It has been trimmed so that it isn't too near the walls and also so that branches overhanging the street are high enough for required clearance. There are quite a few other trees (street trees and garden trees) in this little street; many are taller and have a wider spread.

My upstairs (ie the upper maisonette owner) has let the flat for some years and is now selling. She wants the tree to be reduced so that none of it is on a level with any of her windows ie it is not in front from her flat. As it doesn't block light (especially not sunlight being north facing) I can only think she believes this reduction will help her to sell. I know she had some tenants who didn't like seeing the tree from their window. Though I know many people who like seeing greenery from their rooms especially in London.

As I am, I hope, a good neighbour, I have agreed to a crown reduction and some thinning and re-shaping however I am concerned that reducing it to below the level of her lowest window (to about 15 - 17 ft above pavement level) will spoil the look of the tree within the street context as well as possibly create a rather brutal affect both of which may make it harder for her to sell as well as affecting my privacy and noise screening and bird and insect habitat and the pleasant style of the street.

I would welcome some advice and opinions about this. I would also like to try and find out if she has any legal right to insist that my tree which after all isn't on her property, doesn't block light etc, is reduced to the height she wants simply because she doesn't like the look of it. It attracts many birds: wood pigeons, wrens and finches which all nest in it as well as jays, blackbirds and thrushes. Oh a grumpy robins!

I don't want to start an argument or impede her flat sale and I would like to find a mutually satisfactory solution but neither do I want to be left with a diminished environment either for myself or my neighbours simply so that someone can sell a flat especially when I think her plan which actually spoil the look of the house frontage and street and make it harder for her to sell and spoil it for neighbours many of whom love the tree. When it was trimmed back recently away from the walls one of my neighbours cried!

All help and advice most welcome.

Thank you.
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Re: Tree height and Upstairs neighbour

Postby ukmicky » Thu May 30, 2013 1:14 am

I know what you mean about people loving your tree. When i cut down a monkey tree in my front garden i had a class of primary school children and the teacher protest, They use to walk past it on school trips and apparently it was loved by all.


She has no legal right to insist on anything so you can leave the tree as it is if you wish.

if you do give in check a TPO is not attached and i take it you do not live in a conservation area.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Tree height and Upstairs neighbour

Postby likegreenthings » Fri May 31, 2013 9:37 pm

Thanks very much for your help.

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