Think Before You Park

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					                                                                                       Community Information
                                                                                             Tall Trees
The problem in a nutshell
“My neighbour’s trees are so tall, apart from being unable to grow anything light-loving in my garden I
have to keep the light on in my sitting room all the year round. I have been trying to talk nicely with my
neighbour and he has said that he will cut overhanging branches. He will not, however, reduce their
height. I feel so frustrated that he can get away with this. And I, as a pensioner, have to accept it
although it is costing me a small fortune in utility bills. It seems so unfair andt I am not sure what
options I have.”
The legal position
Where the encroachment of tree roots (or branches) onto the property of neighbour causes damage,
this constitutes a nuisance which entitles the injured party in an appropriate case to seek damages or
an injunction or to reduce or remove the nuisance himself or herself. This also applies to tall hedges,
particularly Leylandii, but not to tall trees (see SMBC website).
Suggestion 1
Cutting back high trees can be expensive, and your neighbour might not see the need to spend money
on it. You can offer to get them cut back (at your expense) to a mutually agreed level. It might work and
is cheaper than taking legal action.
Suggestion 2
Talk to a solicitor (or get advice from the CAB). The chances are that the solicitor will need to get a
written opinion from a barrister as to whether or not you have a winnable case. It will cost at least £3000
to bring your case to court. Even if you win, the costs awarded may not cover your full legal bill. If you
lose, it could end up costing you in excess of £5000. Any good solicitor will urge you to try to resolve
this without litigation
Suggestion 3
This involves the advice of a tree surgeon, if a tree relies on roots in your ground. If removal of these
roots would destabilise a tree AND if it would fall safely, i.e. not onto a house or person, then you might
consider taking appropriate action (under the supervision of a tree surgeon).

Suggestion 4
Write to your MP to lobby for laws that recognise the problem is not limited to species, number or arrangement of
trees. The stress it causes neighbours compares with the problems of loud music, verbal abuse, unruly animals,
revved motorbike engines or any of the other things for which the law currently offers a remedy

Further information & useful weblinks
Solutions SK Ltd.                                       
Enterprise House, Oakhurst Drive,                        (Community Legal Helpline)
Cheadle Heath, Stockport, SK3 0XS                        (CAB)
Tel. 0161 474 5710                                       (to find a tree surgeon)
Email.                       (contact your MP)

 This leaflet is brought to you by Brigitte Lechner, the Manor Ward Labour Party Community Link, and printed at Stockport Labour Club, 2
                           Lloyd Street, Stockport SK4 1QP. T: 0161 285 0558, E:

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