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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 16862
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I live at the edge of my local authority. The neighbouring

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I live at the edge of my local authority. The neighbouring local authority have been working on land on the other side of my street of which I have joint ownership of with 11 of my neighbours. The land is on my title deeds as shared ownership area. It is to prevent work taking place on the greenspace...which the council are doing. They cut down loads of tress which we are upset about. After months of discussions we have a letter of apology and an offer to enter into a 'Licence to Occupy' ---if we do this can we argue we want our trees back or not? Also any chance of financial compensation in this?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: None, just emails back and forth with the council and a formal letter of apolgy today
JA: Where is the land located?
Customer: Across the street at G61 1ER. It's a strip stretching over six semi detatched building, 12 properties in total
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Work has been going on for about 14 months and this is our first notification and acknowledgement of it as a land owner. they claimed they offered evening drop ins at a local library, advertised it ins a local paper (its a town seven miles away) and went round houses and sent flyers. We did our own community group survey and most people said they were not informed about it. Those who did probably just read the question wrong!

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland with 35 years of experience in private practice and I hope that I can help you with your question today. Let me have a quick look at your question and I will either give you an initial answer or ask you for further information. I aim to respond as quickly as I can but sometimes I may want to take a little time to consider your question so as to give you the best possible answer.

Are you saying the 12 properties own the green space area and the council cut the trees down illegally or was there some kind of statutory basis that allowed them to do so. Can you explain your situation a little more please? The more information I have, the better I will be able to answer your question and that is what I want to be able to do.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
we have an area that stretches along the opposite side of the street. Out title deeds show it so I guess its about 2metres from the kerb and this is a grassy area. At the end of the grassy area on our land(approx 4m x 4m) they started to dig for flood alleviation works which involved completely chopping down an area of trees. This area extended along an area which did not belong to us.Residents further along the street own more land over the street where several HGV are currently parked on the "site".
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Sorry I added my property twice. Mine is the file called G61 1er
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I lead the local community group and we have allt he documents as a freedom of information request sent to us. there are of course lots to sift through but the plans were not shared with us and we have the letter today offering an apology

So who owned the trees? Your narrative refers to “our trees”

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
they were just trees growing wildly on a shrub land. The land belonged to us...thus the trees did. Some more extensive trees felling took place on East Dunbartonshires land and completely changed our view. We were told there would be minimal thinning when I went out to talk to the civil engineers. Now our whole view is of council housing instead of trees
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
If glasgow City council are offering a "licence to Occupy" can we trade them off for planting new trees. I'm told by a friend that we are entitled to ask for payment and back-payment for licence to occupy.

You can negotiate a licence to occupy with the council and as part of that it can be a condition that they replant trees, yes.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thats excellent. Can you direct me to any proformas or examples of this or give me some advice for next steps?

You should have this done properly by a solicitor and split the costs between the residents or negotiate that the council pay the fees. Unless there is someone legally qualified amongst the residents you should not be doing licence agreements or leases without a solicitor.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ok thanks. We were flooded in 2013 and were told that joint ventures like this were not allowed in Scotland

What do you mean by joint ventures?

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