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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25411
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Highway Tree Problem For Over Fourteen Years. We have three

Resolved Question:

Highway Tree Problem For Over Fourteen Years.
We have three very large scot's pine trees growing near our house but on the bank of the public highway. We have had a problem with 'Rooks' over the last three years. The noise,mess and general disturbance has become more than anoying. We have contacted both local & county councils but both say they have no budget to remove the trees, which do not have a preservation order.

Question 1: What are my legal rights to help me get rid of the trees.
Question 2: Is there any legal way forward regarding the rooks apart from tree removal.

Many Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if the council has any objection to you taking steps with regards XXXXX XXXXX trees and / or rooks and it is just the cost they are concerned with in this repsect please?

Customer:

It seems that they are only concerned with the cost. For tree removal they would also have to put a public objection notice up for a while

Joshua :

Thanks. Are you in principle prepared to meet any of the cost yourself?

Customer:

Yes and also some of the neighbours

Joshua :

Thanks. With you permission mayy I revert to you in 30 mins or so as supper is ready and I would like to provide a full response rather than a rushed one now. Would that be alright with you?

Customer:

No problem, enjoy your meal.

Joshua :

Thank you. I do apologise for the interruption. I am back

Joshua :

The starting point is that rooks like all wild birds are protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is unlawful to harm them without a llicence. However it is permitted for an individual with a licence under the Act to destroy rooks and nests. Accordingly as a practical solution if the councilhave no objections you could consider retaining a pest controller that is licenced to control nuisance birds to destroy the nests and birds as necessary to bring the population under control. You can agree to share costs assosciated with this with your neighbours.

Joshua :

The council does have responsibilities under the Environmental Protection Act to deal with nuisance birds however budgets are stretched at present and councils are having to make decisions about budget priorities and the council are the ones that make a decision about what is and is not a nuisance (though you can appeal their decision) and so notwithstanding an appeal if they do not wish to attend to the matter they need only decide that the issue is not a nuisance in order to avoid responsibility. You could appeall such a decision to the Local Authority Ombudsman if you wished though this would take some time

Joshua :

http://www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint/

Joshua :

Regarding removing the trees unless the trees are dangerous there is no legal basis to remove them against the councils wishes unfortunately. You can remove parts that overhang your property however this is the extent of your rights. In order to remove them you would need the councils consent

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Thankyou, I will look into obtaining permission from the council to getting a pest controller to deal with nuisance birds.

Customer:

Regarding the trees it seems I will have to wait until the financial situation improves. It could be some time !

Joshua :

This should not be difficult as rooks are recognised as a potential nuisance and the council will be aware of its obligations to deal with them where they constitute a nuisance. If you intimate you will be responsibel for costs, my suspicion will be they will be entirely cooperative as you are in effect offering to pay for a service they probably of you pushed enough would be forced to deal with themselves if the problem is as bad as you suggest.

Joshua :

With regard to the trees, unless you can show they are dangerous there is a limit to what you can do although if again you and your neighbours were prepared to countenance paying for a tree surgeon yourselves you could suggest this as a means by which to control the birds and "sell" it as an offer to the council on this basis. The council may have to consult with regard to the removal of the trees before any permission was received. Of course you may not want to be responsible for tree surgeons costs which could be significant if the trees are large and many and there is no reason you should be so responsible if you do not wish to be of course.

Joshua :

There are many pest controllers that you can consider using that are appropriately licenced. This is one example: http://www.nbcbirdandpest.co.uk

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything

Joshua :

...I can clarify or help you with any further?

Customer:

Thankyou for your professional assistance. I will try again with both council offices.

Joshua :

If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

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