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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can i force my local authority to prune back branches on Oak

Customer Question

Can i force my local authority to prune back branches on Oak trees that are on their boundary but overhang my private house?These trees are subject to TPO'S
I met with the Arboricultural Officer who insructed his contractors to provide a maximum of 3m clearance from the building line . He now says that this is from the fabric of the building and would not include overhanging branches.The distance he says is from the brick/tile facia to the branch tips..
The overhanging branches are depositing all sorts of debris clogging up gutters etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

What steps have you taken so far please?

JACUSTOMER-hybznsuf- :

Only general correspondence with the tree officer from the council following a site meetinf in January. He said he would carry out pruning to give a maximum of 3m clearance to the building line.

JACUSTOMER-hybznsuf- :

i am unclear what he means but has concluded their work is done and the branches which overhang my house are still there

Alex Watts :

You need to write to the Chief Officer of the Council and make a formal complaint. That office will investigate what you have to say and come back to you.

Alex Watts :

If that does not work then complain to your Local Councillor. After all they are elected by you. The Councillor can lobby the Council on your behalf

Alex Watts :

If that does not work then you can try the Local Government Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and can examine your complaint. Their website is: www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

That should resolve the matter

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-hybznsuf- : Sorry this is not an answer. I know how to complain but my question is if I
JACUSTOMER-hybznsuf- : Can I take them to court to get a judgement to ensure this work is carried out and is there case history to support such an action..
Alex Watts :

I see. I must have missed where you asked for case law in your question

Alex Watts :

Can you take them to Court yes.

Alex Watts :

There is nothing stopping you.

Alex Watts :

Can the Judge order them to cut them back - yes.

Alex Watts :

Yes there is case history.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

JACUSTOMER-hybznsuf- :

please let me a successful case reference as i think it is always an uphill struggle to win against local authorities

Alex Watts :

Davey v Harrow Corporation - [1957] 2 All ER 305

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-hybznsuf- :

This case concerns actual damage to a property by tree roots so totally different from my question which concerns making the local authority prune back protected oaks with branches overhanging my house .Do you know about the 3meter rule from the building line and what it means .This is what was quoted at me and that overhanging branches were not included.

Alex Watts :

Yes that is party wall.

Alex Watts :

You are suing in negliegnce.

Alex Watts :

And nuisance.

Alex Watts :

Claimants appearing on the Register of the Corby Group Litigation v Corby Borough Council - [2008] All ER (D) 89 (May)

Alex Watts :

Paragraph 27 of that Judgment

JACUSTOMER-hybznsuf- :

Sorry what is party wall got to do with how far they were prepared to prune the trees from the building line. again i cant see any correlation between negligence caused by contanination and trying to get a local authority to cut some overhanging branches to my property.

JACUSTOMER-hybznsuf- :

After all this correspondece I am none the wiser if I have a case to succeed agaist the council in this simple matter.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need an answer by Friday at latest. Please advise if possible.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes please up to close of business tomorrow
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please cancel my request for an answer to a very simple legal question as clearly you do not have the necessary expertise . Please confirm that you will refund to my credit card immediately the fee taken.

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