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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My appeal to have a very large pine tree removed from my property

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My appeal to have a very large pine tree removed from my property has been denied. I am 85 in August, suffer with scoliosis of the spine, Type 2 diabetes and angina so am totally incapable of cleaning up the huge mess that this tree creates with needles and cones all over my driveway and filling up the gutters on my home and garage. I have to pay someone to clean up every few days, more so now that we have frequent gales and rain. Neighbours are on my side as this tree causes problems for them. I wonder whether I could appeal on Human Rights grounds to remove this tree? Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to offer. Kind regards, XXXXX XXXXX

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Do you own your own home?
Alex Watts : Is there a tree preservation order on the tree please?

Hello Alex. Yes I own my home and there is a TPO on the tree. It is not an indigenous species - the electricity board have cut branches from it in the past because it was fouling the electrical overhead cable. It is a bit lop-sided and neighbours are afraid it will crush their home if it comes down in a high wind. Await your reply in due course. Many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX

Alex Watts : On what basis was the appeal denied please?

All I heard from the tree expert was that the chap in charge in the Council said his reason for refusal was "that the tree could be seen". I have asked people nearby if they noticed the tree and they have said "no we haven't". A rather odd sort of reason for refusal.

Alex Watts : Did you feel out the appeal forms?
Alex Watts : The ones here
Alex Watts :

No I left the form filling to the expert forestry chap who has been in the business for over 37 years and is quite perplexed at the refusal, but puts it down to the fact that the guy in the Council is new in the post and somewhat intent on feeling his feet so to speak.

Alex Watts : But there has been a formal appeal procedure followed?

Yes this is the case because the forestry person is very familiar with procedures and, apparently, has never had an appeal refused in the past.

Alex Watts : Ok.
Alex Watts : The next step is to complain to the secretary of state
Alex Watts : The generic procedure is detailed here
Alex Watts :
Alex Watts : You can make a written appeal to the Government Department or a hearing appeal.
Alex Watts : There is no cost for this.
Alex Watts : Look at the detailed guidance and this will give you a further right of appeal after the council have refused the appeal.
Alex Watts : Therw is no cost to this.
Alex Watts : Can I claiify anything for you about this today please?

I will ask my man to discover who the Secretary of State for such cases happens to be and I will study the guidance as you suggest. Do you happen to know if the Sec of State is the Planning person or someone else?

Alex Watts : Yes if is likely to be but not anyone from the council.
Alex Watts : The document I have provided gives you regional offices.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?

Thank you for suggesting this way forward. If that fails is there any way forward via the Human Rights Act?

Alex Watts : Possible yes, right to private family life, but that right is limited by law.
Alex Watts : If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer.
Alex Watts : If the system does not let you please do say.
Alex Watts : If you need more help please click reply.

Sorry I've kept you rather late and I guess you'll have a little more to say soon, but I am most grateful for your advice so far. Kindest regards, XXXXX XXXXX

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