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Overhanging Beech tree, causing damage and nuisance to neighbours and its droppings causing a trip hazard on adjacent pavements.

Reported in the Parks/landscapes category anonymously at 14:13, Mon 12 November 2018 using FixMyStreet Pro

Sent to Vale of White Horse District Council 2 minutes later

Dear Cllr Pope

My neighbour Joan met you recently at the Fitzharry's estate AGM meeting, and spoke to you about the beech tree on Fitzharry's Rd which we feel is too large to remain so close to our house (1 Kingston Close).

Our primary issue with the tree is the risk of structural damage to our property. When we moved here in August 2017, the house survey noted that there had been 'structural movement probably caused by moisture changes in the subsoil'.

Although we can't say for certain that the tree roots are causing damage now it seems to me there is a real risk it will do so at some point. The longer it remains there and the larger it grows the more likely this becomes. I have consulted our insurers about my concerns and they were very clear that they would expect the council to pay in that event.

Beyond this the tree is a nuisance. The nuts, sap, seeds and leaves clutter up our driveway, garden and gutters, clog up and mark our cars, and obscure the windows on one side of the house as well as the glass roof in the kitchen.

The tree also bothers the neighbouring properties, and pedestrians. The beech nuts on the pavement are a trip hazard, especially in the dark, and people have to duck to get around the branches.

Earlier in the year I was in touch with the council parks department and they sent a man to look at the tree. He promised 'a 15% crown reduction' this winter. This will hardly make much difference as the tree has grown considerably even in the short time we have been here.

So, I am hoping you will support our plea for the tree to be cut down before it becomes more of a nuisance.

Kind regards Catherine (and Ross) Meredith

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  • This important high amenity mature beech tree is an asset to the area even though I can understand it may be an inconvenience to the immediate neighbour. We regularly survey our trees with subsidence being one of the issues we assess for. This tree is scheduled to have a significant reduction - the maximum for a beech without causing risk of death. If this tree were to be removed due to this request then most of the other trees on the green space could be removed for very similar reasons. I believe that this would be a very unpopular move.

    Posted by Vale of White Horse District Council at 09:24, Tue 13 November 2018

  • Dear Cllrs Pope and Lovatt

    Thank you, it is good to have confirmed that the cut back will be taking place, though this sounds like it is just the 15% crown reduction which was promised earlier in the year.

    We are still concerned about the risk of subsidence, and feel that surely it would be better, and cost effective, to eliminate that risk by removing the tree before it becomes a real problem. As I mentioned there has already been some structural movement over the years. This is evidenced by cracks around our windows, and running through the house from front to back.

    If you have not seen the tree we encourage you to take a look for yourselves. It is remarkably large and close to our house and it is not comparable to most of the surrounding trees on the estate, which are more appropriately sized and situated in relation to the houses.

    The house outdates the tree by about 15 years. In our opinion such a large forest type tree should never have been planted there.

    The nuisance factors may be reduced by it being cut back but they will not go away.

    Kind regards

    Posted anonymously at 20:40, Mon 26 November 2018

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