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Found 7 results

  1. I’ve got 2 questions, hopefully you guys can help me. The first is a legal question regarding TPOs and liability and the second is about ground heave risks. 1. I’m buying a property in South East England in a rural village that’s a conservation area. It’s an end terrace built in the mid 90s, and my conveyancer found a TPO on 2 horse chestnut trees in the back garden. Here’s the snag, the trees are gone, only stumps remain. I found planning permission for 2 crown lifts in the early 2000s, one for 3 meters and one for 6. I also found and old estate agent advert for the house from 2014, when the current owners would have bought it, and the trees are gone. But on Google Streetview the trees are still there, and the date is marked 2009. so sometime between 2009 and 2014 the trees have been illegally cut down, and there’s no hiding it as the property is on a hill visible from the road, and they were the only trees. I don’t think I’ll be liable for the removal of the trees, but I may be liable to replace them. So my question is, without grassing on the current owner, should I consider indemnity insurance (if applicable), I don’t mind replanting saplings but if the council want the old stumps removed and new trees of a certain size planted I’d rather not have to pay for that, and instead come to an agreement with the current owner or something. 2. These trees were massive, taller than the 2 storey house. I’m rubbish with guessing measurements but the stumps looked about 3-4ft wide. One of them was very close to the house, touching the patio area, the other was a bit further down the garden. The garden itself is a bit odd, a large patio area followed by a a turfed area that’s mostly steep hill, the house itself is on the hill, but the parking area and the rest of the garden are at the bottom of the hill, about 7ft below. The trees were at the top of the hill. My survey didn’t find any evidence of subsidence or ground heave, but that’s not to say it won’t happen in the future. So I’m wondering how to proceed, we first made our offer in August, it’s now December and exchange is looming, so I’d really rather not pull out at this stage unless I had to. Could this be solved by a bit of indemnity insurance? Or do you think I should pay for a tree survey? But even then I don’t think the survey could predict future problems, only state they were possible which leaves me where I started.
  2. I have a 300 year old oak tree at the bottom of our garden, which is in excellent health. Our neighbour's insurers have applied to have the tree felled, as they have had a report suggesting that the tree has caused the subsidence, as it has dried out the clay soil. A significant number of local residents objected to the application and the local Council have now issued a preliminary TPO and we are now in the 28 day period where further submissions can be made to the Council, before they decide whether to confirm the TPO. The Council tree officer has valued the tree and will have to convince councillors that the tree is of sufficient value for them to confirm the TPO and risk having to contribute to the costs of alternative solutions. The tree officer fully expects the insurers to object to the TPO. This is all new to me, so can anyone help me with the following questions - 1. HEAVE. The neighbour lives in a semi detached house and the occupants of the other half of the house faced the same issue of cracks when they moved in in 2011. Their insurers ended up concluding that the risk of heave (the oldest houses around the tree were built around 1900, so well after the tree was here) meant that they had to find an alternative to felling the tree. They ended up putting in a 2.5m deep root barrier, which appears to have largely dealt with the subsidence problem. There are 4 1900 era houses close to the tree and the one making the claim is the only one having subsidence issues. None of the houses had any foundations when they were built, but many of the houses, including ours, have had extensions since, which have included some proper foundations. The house making the claim has never had an extension and therefore still does not have any foundations. My question is the Council do not seem to be worried about the risk of heave and the insurer’s report simply says “Heave is not a concern”. Indeed the Council say any submissions we make during the consultation period should address the amenity value of the tree and that there is no point in talking about heave. How can this be right when all of use are concerned about the risk of heave? 2. MEASUREMENT OF MOVEMENT. The monitoring report shows that the largest movement in cracks was 8m, measured between February and August 2020. Is measuring just between a very wet February and a very dry August considered best practice? 3. DRAINAGE INVESTIGATION. The drainage investigation performed seems to have identified some damage to pipework that needs to be repaired. However, the acoustic test to the water main suggested that there weren’t all leaks to that. How is it possible to establish whether any of the leaks involved might be encouraged the root growth from the oak and thereby contributing significantly to the problem? Many thanks in anticipation! Mark
  3. Hello I’m new here, and thanks in advance I live in WSuffolk, it’s clay, we’re atop a hill, if that’s relevant. 2 story House, walls go down 1m deep, below which is concrete in trench. (We needed soil taken away after an oil spill elsewhere, so I saw this) No sign of subsidence. Previously the whole estate was a pig farm. Maybe the odd shelter here and there, maybe some shelter trees. It wasn’t woodland. It’s been standing about 22 yrs, now surrounded by patio, with a lean-to kit built conservatory, which sits on concrete pads, will be demolished within a year or two, it’s in an appalling state! To be replaced by patio I expect. Patio shields soil somewhat, It’s on a bed of mortar blobs and not well pointed. Some water may get through but not all. Prior to that going in 8 yrs ago it was gravel. Next door has an original patio laid as well, and the birch roots are lifting it nearest the tree. Both houses about 5m distant. So we’ve had a request to do something about the tree. The original owners (probably) planted trees down the boundary,( I’m sure they don’t predate the houses,)and closest to the house is a silver birch, and then a Malus, then a palm, each about 2m apart. The birch is now taller than the house. Trunk about 30cm diameter We topped it about 6-8yrs back and it rewarded us with a spurt of growth, and two trunks instead of one! We've had a tree surgeon look at it, and he advises to take it out in one go. We’ve heard about heave and that worries us, but he dismissed the idea. He actually said taking it down gradually would stimulate the roots to grow more. What do you think of that please? We’ve already cut it back once, as I said. We chose him because he did a balanced and attractive job of thinning a neighbour’s young trees, but I don’t know his training. He said he wasn’t insured to give a guaranteed opinion, and to inquire further, and so I’ve found you in my search. Sorry pic is rotated. Don’t know how to fix that! Can you help please? Many thanks
  4. I am thinking of removing this tree in our front garden. I have heard that tree removal can cause issues with ground heave. The tree is around 2-3m from the house. The soil is quite dark and peaty I think and there has previously been mining activity in the area. any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  5. Hi all, I was called to a property to quote for some work which included the request to take this Cherry Plum down in stages due to a garage being built in approx 3 months. The advice to remove the tree in stages had been given by a surveyor I believe. The garage will be roughly this side of the wooden shed seen in the pic. The homeowner told me that the ground is clay. I advised that it is no longer advisable to remove a tree in stages, but was asked the following questions: - Would the recently built extension (nearest the car) be at risk of heave if the tree was removed in one go? I felt that the risk was very small, but that it also depends on the foundations and that there is no definite answer. - Would it be best to remove completely before the garage is built? - Should there be a period of time allowed to pass between felling and building? - Is it best to leave the tree in and build? I would think that it would be best to remove the tree first (though it is no sizeable monster), and allow the ground time to adjust to the tree not being there before building the garage- how long would this take? And in relation to the present extension, expect not to suffer from heave but this cannot be guaranteed of course. Opinions and advice please? Thank you.
  6. Hi I would like some advice for the best approach to remove a tree from my garden. We have recently moved into the house and during the sale we had a survey conducted. The survey recommended that we remove a silver birch tree from the garden and that we should do this gradually to reduce the chances of heave. Following this I spoke to a number of tree surgeons who all assured me that this practice is no longer used and that we should remove the tree in one go. The house is a Victorian terrace and was built around 1900 in Bristol BS3. I believe parts of Bristol have clay soil and are therefore susceptible to subsidence. The area is known to have previously been used for mining and I am therefore slightly worried that removing the tree may cause heave. The tree is a silver birch (I have attached some photos below). It is approximately the size of the two story house, with a trunk diameter of 90cm and is around 5m from the nearest property. I am considering the following options: 1) Consulting a structural surveyor for an opinion in the likelihood of heave 2) Removing the tree gradually 3) Removing the tree in one go I would be very grateful if anyone has any experience in this they could pass on. Many thanks in advance. Kind regards Alex
  7. I've got a client who wants me to take down a black poplar (Standing stem - pollarded frequently) and a medium sized italian poplar, they are about 10m from properties. He is concerned that the owners of the houses may get heave in a few years time. He was told 8 years ago to take them down in stages, I've heard this was a bit of a money making scheme dreamt up by someone. Will there be heave? He wants me to put it down in writing that there will be no damage. I don't think I can do that, as I am unsure, and I'm not qualified. Any ideas?


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