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Jon Heuch

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  1. openreach.co.uk/wayleaves The wire I assume is owned by Openreach, part of BT. To install they would need the agreement of landowners - the term is wayleave. your lawyer may be able to find some details but openreach should be able to clarify what your options are
  2. So the way to do this is to understand you shouldn't rush to your opinion without first stating the facts on which your opinion is based. It may be bloody obvious to you that it's a case of the wrong tree in the wrong place, but step back: i) measure the garden - width, length; estimate/calculate the area. Take any other structures (sheds, ponds etc) into account. ii) measure the tree - height crown dimensions - East, West, North and South. Calculate crown area iii) put ii) on top of i) iv) describe the implications of iii) whether it be shading, dropping branches, leaf fall....possibly gardening is affected by the tree - what can't be done as a result of shade/dry soil etc. Take the relative aspect of tree and house/garden into account - South, North etc v) describe the condition of the tree and what options are available for its management; possibly recent history may be of significance - whatever has happened. vi) think of the future - how is the tree likely to grow....or not? what will be affected by such growth? Look at points ii) and iii) again. Is retaining the tree just delaying the inevitable? vi) neighbours may or may not be affected by the tree?.....not just their opinions, how are they affected? vii) consider the wider landscape in terms of other trees and what the loss of the tree might mean. When you put all of the above into account you will probably come to a conclusion as to how the tree is best managed....felling may seem to be the best option......but you need to argue your case convincingly not rush to the answer first. The council tree officer may just be of the mood that it's a protected tree and removal of protected trees is against council policies...…..get them to argue their case on your terms - that a large tree in a small garden is acceptable.....and then present that to a planning inspector. If they ignore your argument they allow you to argue in their absence; if they do engage, they will have to make their case just as effectively as you have. Their opinion is worthless without the argument.
  3. The council can't unilaterally "withdraw" an application; it's your application and they can only put it to one side if you have, in writing, agreed to do so. So if 8 weeks have passed and they haven't determined it or have made a statement up to say you have agreed to withdraw it when you haven't you might be able to appeal.....but that's 6-12 months wait for a decision and if you go the fast track you will be dependent on what you put in your original application.....was it good enough for an appeal? But most importantly, what were the given reasons for refusal on the second application? You may want to appeal both applications together so the reasons for the second may need to be addressed.
  4. Khan v Harrow Council and Kane is not a case that sets a "precedent". It was a case determined on the evidence put before the court. It does show that it is possible to successfully argue the case for negligence against a tree owner......but that may not be possible in all cases. Please remember that there is an ABI Domestic Tree Root Agreement between many of (but not all) the insurers of domestic property. https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/subject/public/home-insurance/2017/abi-domestic-subsidence-claims-agreement-and-guidelines-december-2017.pdf Google "abi domestic tree root agreement" & you will see various commentaries. In a large proportion of domestic tree root claims (domestic tree owner; domestic property damaged) the issue of liability will never be pursued because people comply with the agreement; it is only when they don't (i.e. they refuse to abate the nuisance) that the legal implications need to be considered.
  5. As Gary has indicated, phone the council let them know of the date the council received it; provided they didn't ask for extra information you may be able to persuade them to back date it. The old planning portal (now privatised) used to have a clear statement that councils had to work from the date of receipt.....I haven't been able to find it recently. It was useful to remind councils of the correct procedure.
  6. I put in applications all over the country...…..& they even have the check to say that your application may be delayed if the notices don't get put up...…..it's not too bad if there is a houseowner resident in the house with an interest in the decision - it can be done...….but it might require printing out and sending in the post with appropriate pins/ties. But in other locations, it has to be ignored!
  7. The regulations 12 (1)(a) and 12(1)(b) use the phrase "under an order"; the required register is not just a list of tree work applications. Clearly 99% of people are only interested in trees on their or their clients property and being able to search by property is essential.....but with larger & older orders covering multiple properties, especially where there is a dispute, it's highly desirable to look at the management of the order as a whole & in the round.....if the council has allowed trees to be felled as part of the order but is not allowing my tree to be felled there is an argument to be made that there is inconsistency and unfairness involved...…..but arboriculture on the whole is stuck in the management of individual trees or small groups of trees so it's clear why this type of issue hasn't been raised much in the past. Before 2012 for older orders the register (and remember this requirement was described in the order, not in the regulations) had to include all details of compensation paid. It would have been an interesting exercise to collate just how much councils had paid up......but I doubt any councils kept that record for public viewing.....no-one asked for the information....& it's not required any more so it will be a difficult exercise to drag out of any councils in the future.....I have seen a few FoI requests for this type of info & there are various reasons why it can be withheld.
  8. Ah....the "register"! I haven't checked on Scottish matters to see how differently the Register issue is, but I am unaware of any English council keeping a "register" as defined in the law. I have seen a few old TPOs keeping a handwritten record but most councils will point you to their on line database of planning applications.....which don't allow any searching via the TPO, merely by an address. Some time ago I heard a few tree officers saying no-one had ever asked to see their "register" - there is meant to be one for each TPO. So does anyone know of a council that does keep a "register".....? That might be available for public viewing?
  9. i) good point about land charges but.....they charge and typically their starting charge isn't cheap. I haven't tried an informal approach though. ii) Quite correct about not being able to initiate such a challenge after the time limit, but at the same time if the council were to attempt a prosecution they would have to show beyond reasonable doubt that an offence had been committed.....and without a confirmed order (except for the newest ones) they can't do so. The onus is on the council. I now have data from several councils on what proportion of TPOs served have been confirmed......it's quite damning - a TPO without confirmation cannot be assumed to be confirmed. As for the photocopying lark, we almost all have to deal with photocopies - typically the one made when the order was initially served. One council (Thanet to be blunt) that admits their legal department don't have any of the original TPO documents prior to a certain date. The photocopy they do have of their large TPO covering much of Broadstairs (dated 1956) does not include all of the areas listed as protected - whoops! I know they have no evidence of confirmation of any of their older TPOs...…..problem! Well they did have an unprotected spreadsheet listing dates of confirmation (many of which were a Sunday)…..but they have lost the spreadsheet (I have it!). Other councils may have similar problems but I haven't come across one quite so bad. Rumour has it that they may be recruiting a tree officer - sounds like a challenging job!
  10. Pah! That's a titch......here we are in Bia national park in Ghana....oh yes & there is a lot more upwards! The gun is for forest elephants....we didn't see any.
  11. Interesting & thanks for sharing. Well if this your thing I am sure there are lots of other opportunities.....but as you now know it's hot work! As for what is in those holes.....I remember being on the walkway at Kakum National Park in Ghana with the Park Manger who warned me off putting a stick into a hole....very likely a large snake which would have come and said hello. It's a little more serious if you are tied to the tree! About ten years ago I met someone called Barrell who was involved in getting film crews into tree canopies https://uk.linkedin.com/in/andrew-barrell-54117643 …..looks like he has moved on, but he might be able to give you a few pointers. There are a whole range of US conservation bodies involved in tropical forest work varying from the Smithsonian to Conservation International so I would get in touch with them if you want to see more of the world.....& try to get paid for it!
  12. As Paul has indicated a root ID is probably the best idea but I would suggest going straight to the people that do the ID rather than through a third party - you will probably save a bit of cash. Typically £50-70. You need to include a good cross section including bark. Avoid the smallest roots but that doesn't seem to be your problem. The tree root ID labs are: Richardsons http://www.botanical.net/ EPSL http://www.innovationpropertyuk.com/environmental/services/european-plant-science-laboratory/ No 3 based in Perth, Scotland....no website as far as I am aware They're all incredibly busy at the moment as a result of the 2018 heatwave, so good luck. Root barrier......it's a lot of effort when NR are causing the nuisance & need to abate it themselves. & tell NR they will need to pay for the root ID on top of abating the nuisance.....small claims court etc comes to mind
  13. Ven You ask four specific questions: 1) Council: how are they involved? Conservation Area - it's a simple notification & you need no evidence, but they can serve a TPO. If you are being asked to remove trees on the basis that a structural survey has listed the trees as a "risk", you are in a sorry position. All sorts of things might happen but there is no need to worry about them - men may land from Mars etc etc. If there is no sign of movement after the summer of 2018 I would take quite a relaxed view on how birch trees might affect a house. TPO? You will need evidence & the council are likely to refuse. What appears to be an oak may present a greater risk...but without more details I cannot advise. 2) Can you remove in one go or gradually. This old wives tale (& I have some respect for the wisdom of old wives!) is difficult to get rid of - if there is a heave risk, there is a heave risk. Removing trees gradually is not thought to be a means of avoiding this. 3) Not sure what you mean: the foundations are set; you can't do anything about them. 4) Are you an arborist or a structural engineer or a builder? If there is a problem it is primarily with the soil underneath the foundations, not beside them (although heave can cause lateral movement)…….probably for a metre or three. Unless you have expert knowledge and lots of experience don't even think about digging into the ground. My advice: i) the houseowner should have typical domestic house insurance including as standard heave, landslip and subsidence. ii) if you are just removing the trees you make sure you are acting under the instructions of another professional. i.e. you are just a contractor iii) if you are providing advice you have professional indemnity insurance (on an ongoing basis, not just this year as this could come back to bite you at any time in your career). At least £1 million. iv) in terms of an arborist report, I am not sure this is really going to be of much assistance - it might provide you with ii) and some experience might assist in an assessment. it might be of assistance in putting the structural report back into its envelope and avoid removing any trees at all......but that might put you out of a job?
  14. The system works like this where a felling licence is required and a TPO applies: 1) If you tick the box on the felling licence form, the FC liaises with the LA and the felling licence trumps the TPO, if the felling licence is given. 2) You don't tick the box, so the FC makes the decision without consulting the LA and without taking the TPO into account and any resulting felling licence doesn't trump the TPO. Implement the felling licence in such conditions and you're felling protected tree(s) without permission......we all know the consequences of that. Egg on face for the applicant; no defence for the contractor......if it's as clear cut as above.


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