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Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a HighStreet practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questionsfrom satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and otherusers, I might not always respond inminutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in thatcaseIt is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with mewhile I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able toadvise you fully.
Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answerwould not be accurate.
I need the full background details please. Thankyou.
Thank you for your very prompt reply.
I received the letter from my neighbours two days ago.
My discussion with the local tree officer was earlier today.
Prior to that I had no indeiction from the Council that they required a
a report from a third party.
I have been in this house for 14 years, I have applied to the Council twice for planning to carry out work on trees, in the first instance it was granted, the second was refused.
On those previous applications the local tree officer came to my house and gave his reason for the decision shortly after.
I can see little reason to seek the opinion of a third party when the decision will be made by an officer of the Council.
Leave the tree preservationorder aside for a moment.
The tree is potentiallydangerous and therefore if anything falls off it as a result of you failing tomaintain it, and it injures someone, you are liable.
The first thing I would do iswrite to the council and tell them that in your opinion the tree is dangerousand it should be pruned. I would get the neighbour to write to the council inthe same terms.
Both letters need to say thatif anyone is injured as a result of the Council's refusal to let you prune thetree, you give the council notice that they will be held liable in negligence.
That is the cheapest approachthat you can take.
Unfortunately, at this stage,you don't have anything to back up your opinion unless you are a tree expertwhich I imagine you are not.
It is the cost of thearborist report which is the sticking point.
You are liable for the costof pruning the tree. However without the TPO, you could prune it. What youcould not do of course is fell it (TPOor not) because to cut such an amount of timber still needs a licence in anyevent. It is one of the burdens you have of owning a house with large trees.
What you could do is tell thecouncil that you are quite happy to get an arborist report and if the arboristreport confirms your view, you will seek the cost of it from the council. Youare of course liable what any work which needs to be done on the treeregardless.
There is one final thing youcan do what it is long winded and expensive and that is to apply to the courtfor judicial review of the Council's decision not to let you prune the tree.
Does that answer thequestion? I am happy to answer specific points.
Can I help further?
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I amoffline shortly until later today and will pick this up then if needed
Thank you for your message.
I will write to the Council today and follow your suggestions.
One other point,
A number of branchs and the trunk of at least one tree are hanging over the boundary, can these be removed without seeking permission from the Council?
Unfortunately, no, purely because there is a TPO on it.
On aslightly different note, I was reading my local paper recently (at the weekendin fact) and a guy in Chester had been fined £20,000 for cutting down a Yewtree in the front garden of some flats which he owned.
It wouldgive the residents more parking space.
However asa result of having more premium parking space he will get more rent and thereality is that within two years he will have recouped is £20,000!
I'm notsuggesting for one minute that you should take a chainsaw to the tree but giveyou that as an example of the kind of finds that can be levied for breaches sobe extremely careful
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