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Tree interfering with street light and telephone lines

Reported via mobile in the Rights of way category anonymously at 12:06, Saturday 23 September 2023

Sent to Hampshire County Council less than a minute later. FixMyStreet ref: 5023670.

A tree outside 6 Hurstville Drive, Waterlooville is interfering with a number of telephone wires strung from a telegraph pole, and a street light (3).

This is a practical example of a tree too close the carriageway. The tree is less than 12 feet from the centre of the made-up carriageway.

The attached image is old and the tree has grown since.

Recently the constituency MP was reminded in a letter from Richard Holden, Minister for Roads and Transport, that Section 96(6) of The Highways Act 1980 states:

"(6)No tree, shrub, grass verge, guard or fence shall be planted, laid out or erected under this section, or, if planted, laid out or erected under this section, allowed to remain, in such a situation as to hinder the reasonable use of the highway by any person entitled to use it, or so as to be a nuisance or injurious to the owner or occupier of premises adjacent to the highway."

A tree which causes damage to telephone lines serving nearby residences and blocks illuminance from a street light is a nuisance and can be injurious to owners and occupiers of premises adjacent to the highway.

Such interference is one of the reasons the 15 feet rule was encompassed in primary statute and has remained in primary statute continually for over 187 years.

Blocking of light can be construed as hindering the reasonable use of the highway by any person entitled to use it.

In accordance with Section 96(6) the tree should not be allowed to remain, in such a situation.

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  • Still open, via questionnaire, 15:45, Saturday 21 October 2023

  • Hampshire County Council has refused to take any action.

    If the tree is blown down in a storm, and there have been three violent storms in succession recently, it will take the telephone wire with it and may damage the telegraph pole.

    If an occupier is trying to contact emergency services by landline and loses their connection owing to the negligence of the council staff that person could die, all because the council thinks trees are more important than human life

    This is not exaggerated and there are precedents.

    Posted anonymously at 06:46, Sunday 19 November 2023
    Still open, via questionnaire

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