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Nicola-mod
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Our neighbour has sycamore trees growing less than 10 feet

Customer Question

Our neighbour has sycamore trees growing less than 10 feet away from my property which are approximately 40 feet high. They are almost touching my roof and electric overhead cables. She allows the electric company to cut the branches back from the cables .I have offered to pay to have the trees taken and plant more suitable trees but she refuses to accept this offer. What is the legal position regarding height and distance of these trees
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
This is a very common question. A person cannot make an adjoining property owner cut the trees per se but please see my later comments about trespass and nuisance.
Consent is needed to trim deciduous trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and a licence may be needed to fell trees which are not protected by a TPO.
Evergreens cannot usually have a TPO.
Regarding evergreens, a complaint can be made to the council and they will deal with them under the nuisance tree legislation but only with regard to the height. They want £300 fee to start the process and if they find that the trees are a nuisance, they can compel a tree owner to cut them down to 2 m high.
With regard to branches and roots growing boundary,(evergreen or deciduous) these are nuisance and trespass. The overhanging pieces can be chopped off as can roots growing underground but they do not belong to anyone other than the tree owner, so the pieces should be given back although if they are unceremoniously dumped over their hedge without warning, it is not good for already fraught neighbour relations.
If a person is unable to cut the overhanging themselves and they have to get outside contractors in, they are entitled to recover the cost of that work from the neighbour
The following are links will give you some reading with regard to high hedges and nuisance trees. Don't worry about where the sites are geographically because the rules apply nationwide.

http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/environment/planning/high_hedges/high_hedges_frequently_asked_questions.htm

http://www.tameside.gov.uk/planning/highhedges

http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/trees.html

Can I help further?
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

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Thank you,
Nicola

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