Date received: 24 April 2019
Signatories received: 10
Name of petioner: Mr D White
I refer to the petition, signed by local residents regarding the lack of maintenance to surrounding trees in the area of Wyvern Lakeside. I can advise you that receipt of the petition will be reported to Cllr Helen Fisher, Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport.
The council is aware of local reports to its highways department concerning the highway trees in the area. We are currently investigating these concerns and will consider the additional information detailed in the petition as part of these investigations.
Our resource for highway tree maintenance is limited however and our priority is to address issues with trees which are dead, diseased or dying. Any other type of highway tree maintenance is subject to resource availability and in the event that ad hoc maintenance works are raised these will be given a category of priority in accordance with our local risk-based policy.
Common complaints received regarding trees, is that they block light, shade gardens and drop leaves/fruits. An individual’s tolerance of these complaints is a subjective and personal matter and there are a variety of other potential nuisances associated with trees, most of which are minor and are considered to be social problems associated with living near trees.
Seasonal change affects trees and with it they shed petals, leaves, seeds, twigs and fruit. These are often carried freely in the wind and are largely outside of the council’s control.
Although detritus associated with trees and loss of light/satellite reception can be can be an inconvenience, these factors are not recognised as a legal nuisance and are not justification for the removal or pruning of a highway tree.
If residents are concerned that trees are causing structural damage to their property, the council would expect that those residents secure an independent structural engineer’s report complete with relevant evidence, for example, a tree root lab report; and contact the Council individually for details of the Local Highway Authority’s third-party insurer.
In the meantime, as advised above we are currently investigating the more general concerns raised by residents of Wyvern and the local County Councillor is also considering how they may support any highway safety tree maintenance, using a small budget available to them reserved for local community priorities.
Should you require further information regarding your petition please contact Tim Heminsley on 0300 111 8000.