Leave the tree preservation
order aside for a moment.
The tree is potentially
dangerous and therefore if anything falls off it as a result of you failing to
maintain it, and it injures someone, you are liable.
The first thing I would do is
write to the council and tell them that in your opinion the tree is dangerous
and it should be pruned. I would get the neighbour to write to the council in
the same terms.
Both letters need to say that
if anyone is injured as a result of the Council's refusal to let you prune the
tree, you give the council notice that they will be held liable in negligence.
That is the cheapest approach
that you can take.
Unfortunately, at this stage,
you don't have anything to back up your opinion unless you are a tree expert
which I imagine you are not.
It is the cost of the
arborist report which is the sticking point.
You are liable for the cost
of pruning the tree. However without the TPO, you could prune it. What you
could not do of course is fell it (TPO
or not) because to cut such an amount of timber still needs a licence in any
event. It is one of the burdens you have of owning a house with large trees.
What you could do is tell the
council that you are quite happy to get an arborist report and if the arborist
report confirms your view, you will seek the cost of it from the council. You
are of course liable what any work which needs to be done on the tree
There is one final thing you
can do what it is long winded and expensive and that is to apply to the court
for judicial review of the Council's decision not to let you prune the tree.
Does that answer the
question? I am happy to answer specific points.
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