2011-06-13 02:40:35Tree appeal (and not the positive type)
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

In this crazy world of ours, I find that I am in small UK town which is the focus of a battle between trees and insurance companies. If the insurance companies win, builders and insurance companies across the UK will have the ammo to fell numerous mature trees that allegedly are damaging properties.

Two builders and property owners are appealling against a decision that our local council made in opposing the felling of a number of mature Oaks. The builders/property owners insurance companies claim that the trees undermine the foundations of two NEW extensions (glass conservatories) and want the trees removed.

Our council (right wing politically BTW) refused the request because they say that builders/designers of the extensions should have used thicker foundations given the proximity of the trees and local ground conditions. I'm guessing the extensions were built by a bunch of 'cowboys' that just churn these buildings out and used a standard design for the foundations.

Anyway they are appealing the decision and an inspector from London is coming down to hear the appeal and make a decision.
If they win the appeal, trees across Britain are in great danger. Because a builder can lay standard thinner foundations (cheaper!) and just ask to chop a tree down if it causes problems, a council will have to accept the request. In fact once the word gets around, it could become common practice.

The appeal is in a week and half. Apparently small local issues, can have an imapct across the nation!

2011-06-13 02:53:10
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.45.51

Is it a court case? If so, maybe you could get an "amicus curiae" intervention by a tree-conservation group.

2011-06-13 03:03:14
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

No it isn't a court case. It is just a public hearing where opinions on both sides are heard in a relatively informal matter. The inspector listens and discusses, then goes away, writes a report and a decision.

After that, it could go to court. Even to Supreme court I guess in London. Depends how much money people want to spend.

Actually the worrting thing might be that the Insurance comapnies have deep pockets to take it to court and the council might back down. Alternatively this could go on for years!

2011-06-13 03:06:52
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Many of my fellow tree wardens will be attending, but ironically I'm in London on that day to find out how to get my hands on loads of money to plant trees.

2011-06-13 03:25:36
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.45.51

May be a good idea to give a heads-up to a UK conservation organization.

2011-06-13 04:08:48
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

We are a UK conservation organisation!

http://www.treecouncil.org.uk/tree-wardens

But I see your point. I think what will happen is that if they win the appeal the other Tree Warden groups will be informed.
It may require more building regulations. That's the problem really. your have the right, wanting less legislation and red tape, then when that happens, companies eventually exploit the situation, then legislation is proposed, then they complain about state interference. It's a vicious circle.

2011-06-13 04:11:13
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.45.51

I'm thinking about a national-levell organization that is experienced in filing lawsuits.

2011-06-13 04:13:31
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Actually the other worry, is that now Eric fat boy Pickles is in charge of Local Communities, the inspector that comes down to mediate will be biased in favour of the commercial companies and not the council.

2011-07-19 01:24:58
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

An update on this old post of mine.

The council won against the appeal :-)

So good news for the trees, bad news for the extensions that had badly designed foundations and insurance companies that insured them.
And trees across the nation can breath a sigh of relief/O2.

2011-07-19 06:36:11
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.82.1

Excellent!