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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 7204
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I have a serious problem with my neighbours trees

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Hi there
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: i have a serious problem with my neighbours trees overhanging my property by 10 to 15 metres
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: i have spoken to neighbour and got nowhere.I have spoken to council who say it’s nothing to do with them as they are on private land.But I can apply for planning permission to get work done on them as they are under TPO orders. I need to understand my rights, as at present everything seems to be in favour of the owner who apparently doesn’t have to do anything to maintain them !!
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Hello,

You would normally need to apply for permission from your local authority to cut back the branches, see here for further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-preservation-orders-and-trees-in-conservation-areas

You will see from the above link that there is an exception for work to prevent or abate a nuisance as follows:

"What is the exception for work to prevent or abate a nuisance?

The authority’s consent is not required for carrying out the minimum of work on a tree protected by an Order that is necessary to prevent or abate a nuisance. Here ‘nuisance’ is used in its legal sense, not its general sense. The courts have held that this means the nuisance must be actionable in law – where it is causing, or there is an immediate risk of it causing, actual damage.

When deciding what is necessary to prevent or abate a nuisance, tree owners and, where applicable, their neighbours and local authorities, should consider whether steps other than tree work might be taken. For example, there may be engineering solutions for structural damage to buildings."

If in doubt, you should speak to your local authority first.

All the best. Please click on 5 stars

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would this be classed as a nuisance?

I am afraid only the courts have the power to determine what constitutes nuisance in the case of a tree i.e. "where it is causing, or there is an immediate risk of it causing, actual damage."

This is why I would advise you to speak to the council first to seek their views on this so that you are not taken to court in the first place.

All the best. Please click on 5 stars

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok I will apply for planning permission to carry out work on them. Just doesn’t seem fair that the owner doesn’t have to pay for something that is actually his property.

Yes, sadly this is the case.

I await your positive rating so that I may close this question.

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