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Ella Chiara

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About Ella Chiara

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  1. I’m having an issue with my neighbour regarding a fully mature Monterey Cypress tree on our boundary. He bought the house 4 years ago and immediately asked us to fell the tree as it cut the light to his conservatory, which was built 6 years ago by the previous owners (on 300mm concrete foundations). The previous owner knocked through more than half an existing outside wall of their kitchen and attached a wooden conservatory. 2 years later he sold the house as he’d told us, and another neighbour, that his builders were awful and they’d had nothing but problems with their work. Our current neighbour informed us 2 months ago that our tree was causing subsidence damage to his kitchen and conservatory. he has appointed a loss adjusters who has provided us with a Structural Engineers report, which states, “ it would appear that on going water extraction by the tree and associated soil shrinkage giving rise to subsidence is the primary cause of damage”, but it completely ignores the fact they found the conservatory foundations to be 300mm, instead of the recommended 1000mm (because it’s close to the tree). They haven’t investigated the kitchen foundations. We have heard nothing from their house insurers, but their loss adjuster is quite passive aggressive and has said that our neighbours are willing to pay in full for the removal of our tree, but it needs to be done immediately. He has since written to us a further 2 times threatening that the damage caused by our tree is our responsibility financially. Today we received through the post from our local council a planning application from our neighbours for a single storey extension coming off their kitchen (in place of the current wooden conservatory) and 3m longer, and it notes on the drawings “tree to be removed” where our tree is drawn. The tree would indeed have to be removed as part of their proposed extension would be where the tree is. We have owned our property for 10 years, and have had a qualified tree surgeon come every year to check the tree and manage anything he thinks needs doing (2 branches removed in 10 years), and every 3 years we have the canopy reduced, as recommended by an Arborist report we had done 7 years ago at our mortgage companies request. Can anyone offer any advice to us on if, or how, we should go about fighting this please? obviously if the tree is doing damage it needs to be addressed, but I think it’s the easiest thing to blame and it’s the very shallow foundations and poor building work that is the primary cause of damage. Thank you

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