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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
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On our allotment there is an access gate for plot holders

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On our allotment there is an access gate for plot holders and a path running up inside the boundary fence to enable them to get into their plots . This has over the years has, due to the negigence of the local authority who own the allotment site , had become badly overgrown with many overhanging branches from the neighbouring area which is an area of waste scrub land of shrubs and some mature trees owned we believe by another local authority . On a purely voluntary basis three plotholders cut back the overhanging branches and put them back over the boundary fence .
The local authority are now claiming that this is 'fly tipping ' .
Your opinion on this would be appreciated .

My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help with your question today.

Who or what is on the other side of the boundary fence that you've described?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We believe the area on the other side of the Allotment fence is possibly owned by the District Council although this might be in dispute.

The area is overgrown scrub land with a thicket of shrubs and a few mature trees .We only cut back young sycamore saplings ,blackthorn (sloe ) and ivy and this is what was thown back over the boundary .

Thanks for your patience.

I have been looking at the Environmental Health Act 1990 sections 33, 75 and schedule 2B which deal with the prohibition on unauthorised or harmful depositing, treatment or disposal of waste (commonly known as "fly tipping").

I do not agree that your actions of trimming back overgrown plants amounts to 'fly tipping' because a) it is not "controlled waste" means household, industrial and commercial waste or any such waste and b) branches/twigs do not fall within the category of material, substance or products as defined under Schedule 2B.

Furthermore, overhanging branches/plants/schrubs amount to "nuisance" which may interfere with your enjoyment of the allotments. If this can be established then the land owner causing the nuisance could be liable in civil law to pay compensation. Also there is a general right of a neighbour to cut back over hanging branches if they are causing an interference.

In short, I disgaree that your actions are unlawful and I suggest you respond accordingly to the council. If they decide to take the matter any further then, of course, please come back to me so that we can discuss the matter further.

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