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mitchel

TPO tree pushing wall over and lifting neighbours drive

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Hello,

 

I am about to put an application in to remove a lime tree that has been refused in the past around 3 years ago. It is lifting the neighbours drive and pushing the wall over. A tree to the other side of it pushed the wall over on to the pavement 3 years ago he also applied to remove that tree and was refused.The care home owner is willing to replant with a decent size diameter sapling. Neighbour also wants a new driveway but is worried that he will spend the money and the tree will lift it.

 

Is it worth getting a tree report done by a specialist?

 

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20 minutes ago, mitchel said:

This is what the tree to other side did a couple of years ago.

 

2017_0071_TPO-SUPPORTING_PHOTOGRAPHS-331583.jpg

The LAs response would probably be that it was evident what was going on before the wall collapsed so the duty of care was solely on the tree owner. 

 

You could get a report done but it's open to debate how much you'd actually benefit from it.

 

In my experience the LA will refuse because the amenity benefit of the tree outweighs the damage that's occurring. They'll argue that the cost of resolving the leaning wall/damage to paving isn't that great and they'll want evidence that the tree is the cause of the damage. You can gather that evidence if you can do a bit of digging around the wall and lift a couple of flags.

 

You might be lucky and get your application before a planning committee, if apps are dealt with by a TO under executive powers it's more difficult IME.

 

You could try submitting an app to remove the tree because you/someone intend to utilise the 'nuisance' exemption and remove the encroaching roots which will subsequently make the tree unsafe/unstable. See what sort of response that gets. @Daltontrees believes that you can cut encroaching/damaging roots without the permission of the LA (My LA firmly says that, yes you can with their consent :001_rolleyes:). I think that he is right but haven't yet had a client convinced enough to risk ending up in court. 

 

Whatever you do, don't rush to get an application in. Prepare a really good case for removal which you'll probably need after a refusal to take to appeal. Get as much evidence as you can that the tree is the cause of damage, quotes for engineering solutions to retain the tree while dealing with the issues that it's causing. 

 

If you can find the root(s) undermining/in contact with the wall, get a quote dismantling the wall,  a bridging beam that will allow for future root thickening and rebuilding the wall.

 

Then, for next door, get a price for something like cellweb to go over and protect the roots. You'll want to argue that raised levels will create access difficulties at the garage and at the drive/footpath interface. 

 

What you are trying to show is that you've considered engineering solutions and they are either not practicable or so expensive that they outweigh the benefits that the tree provides. 

 

See what other input you get on here, but if you decide to do the app yourself PM me. I've something in appeal atm similar to this and I'll email my app and appeal documents, you'd be able to see everything you want to put forward.

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I would add. Mature established tree in good health. Stone wall hardly exhibiting evidence of damage. Neighbour creaming a cash pot fr nice 'tarmac' driveway instead of re flagging those slightly shifted flags. I would decline an application of this sort. K

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2 hours ago, Khriss said:

I would add. Mature established tree in good health. Stone wall hardly exhibiting evidence of damage. Neighbour creaming a cash pot fr nice 'tarmac' driveway instead of re flagging those slightly shifted flags. I would decline an application of this sort. K

I'm glad you said that!

 

I would also ask them to remove the blocks that are stored on the RPA!

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You will need a report if you are mentioning damage within the statement of reasons otherwise the LPA TO is likely to refuse it or possibly not even validate it.  Even if you get the report they may well refuse but having better supporting info will increase your chances on appeal.  Additionally, the report could advise you on engineering solutions to fix the drive and whether or not they are feasible.  Looking at the levels Cellweb is probably out if digging is to be avoided but you may get away with using Rootbridge - expense though - 4 x the cost of Cellweb for that type of site.     

 

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On 23/01/2020 at 07:39, EdwardC said:

If you are going to state structural damage as a reason to remove the tree on the application form, you must provide a report from an appropriate expert. If you don't the council should decline to validate your application.

 

 

 

21 hours ago, Chris at eden said:

You will need a report if you are mentioning damage within the statement of reasons otherwise the LPA TO is likely to refuse it or possibly not even validate it.  Even if you get the report they may well refuse but having better supporting info will increase your chances on appeal.  

 

Maybe I've just been lucky but I've never had a 'light structure' damage application rejected/refused to be validated for not providing an engineers report. I've even won at appeal.

 

On a straightforward hard surface/boundary wall issue it seems like an unreasonable imposition on the part of the authority to demand that the applicant goes to the expense of an 'experts report' when even the home owner can carefully lift paving, provide photographs etc to illustrate that yes, roots are there and showing the normal contact reactions of roots to an immovable obstacle. Reasonably what more information would a structural engineer provide? 

 

"I lifted the flag stones, there were roots underneath (photos included), the roots had flattened/broadened at the point of contact." That'll be £300, £400 please. But hold on, the SI hasn't arb qualifications so he can't really comment on a tree roots growth reaction, so then an arb report may be demanded. 

 

The owner already has the imposed burden of the TPO, something he owns but cannot do what he wants with, without the consent of the LA and then has to jump through hoops when it starts causing issues. Is it any wonder that some folks are reluctant to have or plant trees.

 

Before I get flamed, I'm only ranting about light structure damage problems, not subsidence. Surely on a simple case of LSD the applicant/agent should be at least given the opportunity to supply evidence? If it's inadequate or doesn't confirm that the tree is the problem, sure it's reasonable for the LA to ask for more proof but most of these situations aren't rocket science. 

Am I the only one who can see a disparity in that an LA can't give consent with a condition that the owner must get a contractor/approved contractor to do the work, while saying that the applicant must get an expert for a claim that the tree is causing damage to paving and walls?

Edited by Gary Prentice
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Damage / Failure not imminent. Tree healthy Wall sound. Who wants to spend money ? Those flagstones are nowhere near as bad as most High St paving ...*cough* even in Sheffield 😃  K

Edited by Khriss
Ohhhh Amy, how could you
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10 minutes ago, Khriss said:

Damage / Failure not imminent. Tree healthy Wall sound. Who wants to spend money ? Those flagstones are nowhere near as bad as most High St paving ...*cough* even in Sheffield 😃  K

Can't find the original photographs so apologies for the poor image, I had to extract it out of a PDF.

 

This was 'interesting' when the concrete was lifted to reveal the roots underneath. :001_rolleyes:

drive.jpg

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1 hour ago, Gary Prentice said:

Just a couple of point to address.

1 hour ago, Gary Prentice said:

Maybe I've just been lucky but I've never had a 'light structure' damage application rejected/refused to be validated for not providing an engineers report. I've even won at appeal.

You don't need an engineers report for light structural damage, just written evidence an appropriate expert.  You would qualify under that heading but the resident wouldn't.  As a TO I've accepted written evidence for this type of thing from competent tree surgeons or building contractors.  I have also provided written evidence in a report form for light damage.     

1 hour ago, Gary Prentice said:

 

On a straightforward hard surface/boundary wall issue it seems like an unreasonable imposition on the part of the authority to demand that the applicant goes to the expense of an 'experts report' when even the home owner can carefully lift paving, provide photographs etc to illustrate that yes, roots are there and showing the normal contact reactions of roots to an immovable obstacle. Reasonably what more information would a structural engineer provide? 

Its not the authority though is it.  Its on the one app form which is a legal requirement and provided by the government.  The authority are jumping through the same hops as you.  If they accept sub-standard apps then they could be criticised for it.  MPs enquiries are pretty standard when folk don't get what they want with their trees.   

1 hour ago, Gary Prentice said:

 

"I lifted the flag stones, there were roots underneath (photos included), the roots had flattened/broadened at the point of contact." That'll be £300, £400 please. But hold on, the SI hasn't arb qualifications so he can't really comment on a tree roots growth reaction, so then an arb report may be demanded. 

As I said, you could provide that and for less than £400.  Subsidence is a different issue altogether. 

1 hour ago, Gary Prentice said:

 

The owner already has the imposed burden of the TPO, something he owns but cannot do what he wants with, without the consent of the LA and then has to jump through hoops when it starts causing issues. Is it any wonder that some folks are reluctant to have or plant trees.

Again, this isn't down to the LA.  Its on the direction of the government ultimately. 

1 hour ago, Gary Prentice said:

 

Before I get flamed, I'm only ranting about light structure damage problems, not subsidence. Surely on a simple case of LSD the applicant/agent should be at least given the opportunity to supply evidence?

The agent yes (if they are competent).  Not the applicant, they are not objective and don't have the necessary skills to look at the all options in most cases.     

1 hour ago, Gary Prentice said:

If it's inadequate or doesn't confirm that the tree is the problem, sure it's reasonable for the LA to ask for more proof but most of these situations aren't rocket science. 

As above

1 hour ago, Gary Prentice said:

Am I the only one who can see a disparity in that an LA can't give consent with a condition that the owner must get a contractor/approved contractor to do the work, while saying that the applicant must get an expert for a claim that the tree is causing damage to paving and walls?

No I get what you are saying.  But the LPA also insist that you supply technical report and plans for planning apps but don't insist on the use of a particular builder. 

 

TO's come in for a lot of flak and yes some can be a pain in the arse, some of it is a bit harsh though.  When I have my TO hat on I try to be fair and sensible but not all do.  I still get some folk moaning about me, its just the job. 

 

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