Trees at the back of Fairlawn Park

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Howard Staunton
Posts: 74
Joined: 15 Sep 2007 18:30
Location: Fairlawn Park

Trees at the back of Fairlawn Park

Post by Howard Staunton » 30 Apr 2019 15:06

My neighbours and I have an issue with a group of trees situated in the communal grounds of the flats of Bryden Close. The trees are situated quite close to the back fences of our Fairlawn Park gardens, and because they have not seen a tree surgeon since God was boy they overhand our gardens, and for some, block out quite a lot of light. I went onto the Lewisham Council website to report the issue and eventually, after some weeks, received the helpful response 'Housing Associations/Housing Providers' . I assume this means it's not their responsibility. I haven't summoned up quite enough will power to telephone the council to try to speak to someone to confirm this and I wondered whether anyone on the forum knows who might be responsible for these communal grounds?

Thanks in advance.

Howard

JMLF
Posts: 547
Joined: 12 Dec 2013 19:41
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Trees at the back of Fairlawn Park

Post by JMLF » 1 May 2019 07:27

I have a similar thing with pretty much the largest/highest tree I’ve ever seen at the back of the garden almost directly behind ours therefore very close to our/neighbours back fence. It’s a large house split into flats I think. Due to the position of the sun it only blocks out sun for a few hours in the late afternoon/evening but I thought I’d do a little digging as was more concerned about the roots maybe messing up anything under the garden/house or a strong wind blowing some stuff down which would fall on houses on our road as some of the branches are so thin and long.
Although I wasn’t exceptionally thorough I was told by the council that there was “no right to light” and unless evidence of it damaging our garden paving/house there is very little that can be done (I guess I could get together with a neighbour and offer to pay for the tree surgeon perhaps?!). Sorry can’t be more helpful/can’t provide more positive news!

John H
Posts: 215
Joined: 17 Aug 2017 18:15
Location: Sydenham

Re: Trees at the back of Fairlawn Park

Post by John H » 1 May 2019 09:24

You have rights under the law.

You are entitled to prune away any branches that overhang. They are trespassing. You should deposit those trimmings on the property where the tree is situated.

A row of trees constitutes a hedge. There is a statutory limit to the height of hedges of 14 feet. You can insist those trees are cut down to that height.

I had a massive tree to the rear of my property. The old couple that used to live in the property could not maintain it. They died and the house was bought, redeveloped and a new owner moved in. He initially pruned the tree and then, to our delight, cut it down after I pointed out the damage the tree was causing.

In the garden directly behind me the owners grew a couple of massive trees alongside their boundary (with their adjacent neighbour). Those neighbours took them to court and won. They had to cut the trees down to the regulation 14 feet.

Negotiation is always the best way but if all else fails then SUE.

I just took a look at the satellite image. You do have a problem. That row of trees is definitely a hedge... (There is no legal definition of hedge!)

IanT
Posts: 1
Joined: 1 May 2019 12:59

Re: Trees at the back of Fairlawn Park

Post by IanT » 1 May 2019 14:05

My garden backs onto Bryden Close also and we are loomed over by an ivy covered monster.
Bryden Close was Lewisham housing property, I have over the years received communications from Lewisham regarding the flats. If it has been transferred to a housing association recently it is news to me. I suspect you are being fobbed off as I and my neighbor have been over more than a decade of asking Lewisham to do something about their trees.
Some years ago Lewisham made an appointment with me to view the problem, I took time off work, they didn't show up. I complained by phone and yes I was fobbed off. Nothing was done. My most recent attempt was about Eighteen months ago via their web site. I received a reply saying they would investigate. I have heard nothing since.

I am concerned not only that the tree casts a heavy shade over my garden but that it is so big it is damaging the foundations. But I must confess that I am on the verge of giving up on Lewisham council being a good neighbor. However if you think presenting a united front would be helpful, I am at your disposal.
Ian

Howard Staunton
Posts: 74
Joined: 15 Sep 2007 18:30
Location: Fairlawn Park

Re: Trees at the back of Fairlawn Park

Post by Howard Staunton » 1 May 2019 19:42

Thanks for the replies. I will contact the council to try and confirm responsibility for the trees. If I get no joy I may try our councillors and see if they can help. I am lucky that the line of trees ends part way across my garden fence so I am not affected as badly as others I suspect. My problem is mainly with leaves and twigs falling in the garden during autumn and winter. I will post any developments.

Howard

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