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My Story For My Parents

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  • My Story For My Parents


    i am writing on behalf of my parents who are going through hell and their health is suffering for it. It is being caused by a man who lives next door. He used to be o.k and worked abroad allot but since he lost his job he has spent his time making my parents life a hell.

    Firstly he has turned his back garden into a jungle by planting loads of trees like conker and oak trees etc. but before planting these he has some conifer trees that are only 12 ft away from the back of the houses which is also facing the back windows. these were planted by the previous owner. He has let these trees grow 60 ft high and they take allot of light out of my parents house aswell as they have caused damage to their conservatory by taking all the water out of the soil, but this is being investigated right now.

    Ontop of these trees he has built a rock wall onto the dividing fence that is my parents and also inbetween the row of conifers and the house he has built a rock building as high as the low end of the apex on the house this is attacthed to the wall. All this is buitl onto my parents fence and has caused the fence to lean onto the conservatory glass windows. My parents now have to have the lights on in the back of the house because it is so dark. He is now starting on the front garden that already has a huge willow tree only 20 ft from the house front windows, he is now breakiing up scrap cars on his front garden that he has run until they could not pass an mot. He has 4 cars. We have tried local councils but they cannot do anything.


    I am not sure if this is going to the right place or not but i would appreciate any good advice

    darren waterhouse

  • #2
    I forgot to add the building of rocks in no way goes with the surroundings and lloks an eye saw. this building had deep foundations but as yet we have seen no plans for it although the council said he did not need permision for it. i would say this building is built onto the fence which is my parents, he took down his fence and also the dividing concretre posts that marked the boundry line and then built a wall of rocks onto the old ship lap fence. He has tried to put some chinese type roof on it.


    • #3
      Hi Darren and welcome

      Sorry to hear about your parents' problems with NFH. I'm not sure about the 60ft. conifers. I know there was talk about legislation to deal with that sort of thing but I don't know if it's in force yet. Maybe one on the other member will know.

      As to the rock building forcing the fence up against the conservatory windows and the damage to the conservatory from the trees, this sounds very dodgy. I'm assuming your parents are in their own home,i.e. not HA or council property. If so they must have some insurance. Perhaps they could check their policy and see if there is any legal help available to them from that.

      There may be a statutory nuisance with the cars on the front garden and perhaps your local Environmental Health department would be able to help you with that one.

      I'm sure other members will have a lot more advice for you. Come back often and let us know how things are going. Good luck

      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


      • #4
        Yes sorry it is a private house. The insurance are involved at the moment because since he built that rock shack the corner of the garden near to it in my parents garden has sunk allot and caused the brick work in the conservatory to crack in the one corner. the insurance have been running tests on the saoil and monitoring the movment of the crack. they have asked the neighbour to cut down the conifers aswell as recomended that other trees on his property must be either taken down or cut back, he has refused to do it. so now my parents have to pay to have the conservatory repaired out of their own pockets and if it goes again then the insurance will go after him and my parents should be able to get their costs back but only if it goes again in this corner of the garden.


        • #5
          Hi Darren and welcome to the Forum

          It sounds like your parents nfh has the very typical nfh trait of thinking only of me, me, me and not what effect their actions are going to have on anyone else.

          I know that there are some useful websites about hedges/ trees and I will try to get the member who has more information on those to post a reply / the links here for you, hopefully you will be able to get some useful information from those.

          Have you/ your parents contacted your local authority about the trees? There may be a department there that could offer further advice.

          Have your parents met with the nfh to discuss their concerns, or put something in writing to the nfh about how all of this is afecting them? If so, what was the response?

          Would your parents consider mediation as a possible way forward with this nuisance?

          Hopefully the links (once posted) will give you some further details of what action they can take.

          Welcome again and good luck to your parents.


          • #6

            I have suffered from my nfh and his trees for the last couple of years .As such I have read a lot on tree laws, I an no expert would would like to offer you what advise I can on this part of your posting.

            Myth " Tree damage is an act of God".

            Fact : This is insurance company talk, written into policies. Insurance companies have long since walked away from this type of damage.

            If a neighbours tree falls on your property, the insurance company will turn up and say "Sorry mate, nothing to do with us".This does not mean that your neighbour is liable, far from it , he will become soley liable.

            Any tree that is planted in the UK is owned by somebody, private ownership, councils,even forestry trees. The owners of trees are responsible for any damage their trees cause.Root damage, branches falling, even falling leaves blocking guttering would make the tree owner liable.

            I know you are not too keen to start cival action, you are correct, it is long and costly.If it does come to this I would like to give you another feather in your cap.A tree owner has a responsiblity to ensure that his trees are safe and desease free, employing a specialist at least every three years to inspect his trees. A report has to be produced in writting.Any chance your parents neighbours haven't done this ?

            Another piece of information that may be of use to you and your parents is that any neighbourly disputes whether they are cival or criminal have to be declared, by law, if your neighbour wishes to sell his house. Disputes can seriously affect the sellability of houses.

            Finally you can cut all branches, and roots of your neighbours tree back to the boundary. A word of caution, cutting tree roots can undermine trees and cause them to become unstable or even die. If in any doubt employ a specialist.Don't cut anything back beyond the boundaries and don't tresspass on your neighbours property to carry out any pruning.

            Can't really offer you any other advise. Phew, it's amazing what you can pick up when faced with this problem. Hope this helps in some small way and hope all goes well.


            At the moment there is no laws covering hedges.A hedges laws will hopefully be pasted through parliment this year restricting the height of hedges to two meters. Whether this will apply to new or existing hedges I'm not too sure.


            • #7
              sorry fifth paragraph down should read

              This does not mean your neighbour is not liable, far from it......



              • #8
                Just waiting for one of the other members to provide some links, but if you visit the main website, you will find a links directory (along with lots of other useful information).

                One site listed in the links directory which may help you is:



                • #9
                  Thanks Kevin, that's really detailed and useful info - I know a little about trees/hedge issues, but you've posted a few things I wasn't sure about there (e.g. insurance co stuff), so very handy

                  Will have to make you our resident tree and hedgy person


                  • #10

                    Thankyou for your replies. This nfh is a person who knows everything (or so he thinks) has a barrister as a brother so is able to get advice and also checks into things before he does it so he knows what he can do. But he has by passed some things like not informing my parents about this rock building and the foundations, not showing any plans for it infact we are certain he made the design up as he went along. Thsi building has no drainage or guttering so the rain runs down the rocks and onto my parents patio. The patio in the corner of the trees and building has sunk several inches with the slabs sinking in. The insurance is involved in this matter though and have done soil tests and had a tree expert involved who made recomendations for the conifer trees (60 tf or higher) to be removed but the nfh refused so we have to wait now until the repairs to the conservatory are done and further monitoring is done to see if it still subsides. THEN WE MAY HAVE A CASE AGAINST HIM AS HE HAS BEEN WARNED BY THE INSURANCE !

                    He used scrap materials because he does not work or at least he does not go out to work but we suspect he works from home, but that has also been hard to prove so far. He has made other neighbours in the street start to take notice of what he is doing and making the elderly neigbours on the other side of him ill aswell. Just recently he was confronted by the other neighbour about the scrap cars and all the banging in his front garden, the reply the neighbour got was "its my property and i will do what i want with it. "

                    My parents have tried the local authorities on many aspects of what he has done and is doing. They are no help at all, infact one lady from the council said about the trees" trees do grow."

                    Everyone has pride in their gardens and houses in the street but this man has ruined his prperty and at the same time is ruining the two houses next door. But still he goes on and no one seems to want to do anything about him. I would like to know if there is set distances for laylandi trees and willow trees from a house because i am certian these trees are far to close with the conifers being 15 to 20 ft away from the rear of the house and the large willow tree being about the same in the front garden. The trees in the rear do not run along the boundry fence but run accross the width of his house. Behind these trees he has planted a forest with a mixture of trees like willow, oak , conker tree, damson and several others.


                    • #11

                      I was told about my nfh "he had more money than sense". this appears to be the case with your nfh.

                      There is recommended distances regarding the planting of trees close to property.Unfortunatly these distances are for recommendation only and are not enforcable by law.Most people use their own common sense , this is something that is clearly lacking in your nfh.

                      "This is my property and I will do what I like". This is virtually word for word my nfh said to me. Sad people.

                      I'd like to give you another angle that you may be able to approach this from. Every year trees are blown over in storms,every once in a while they bring down over head cables. the electrical companies, do not take this sort of damage lightly. They certainly don't view it as "an act of God". the first question they ask is "Who owns this tree ?". The reason I mention this is because it could be worth having a look at your parents neighbours trees.Any of them interfering or close to overhead electrical cables ?If so inform the electrical company, they will sent an engineer.If the trees are classed as a danger to thier cables they will issue a notice forcing the tree owner to remove the branches or in some cases fell the trees. Failure to compile with this notice and the electrical company will wade in, with their size 10 boots, armed with chain saws and remove them for him and send him a sizable bill just for good measures.

                      I would like to say that the water authorities have the same powers with regards to tree roots and their water supplies and drainage systems but on this I really don't know but it could be worth checking out.

                      Sorry but that's me about advised out. I hope all goes well for you.



                      • #12
                        Yes check out the RIGHT DEPARTMENTS, not just Joe Bloggs the pen pusher, of either your highways dept of your council and certainly the water utilities co, if Leyllandi or other trees will in time stop the flow of water through the water/sewerage system, they will tell you to get them moved, in fact my neighbour put little saplings up and they were on her back in no time, so push it please but as i say get the right department and dont let up./


                        • #13
                          We are writing to as many people as possible now thanks to your advices. i was wondering if there is any laws or ecomendation as to the distances that certain tree types should be from a property, i have searched for it but can`t find anything.


                          • #14

                            I have searched high and low for any sort of law that restricts certain trees from being planted close to property. To date I have found no such law but I continue my search.

                            If you get any joy here please let me know.

                            Never one to seek publicity but there is a new forum headed “ trees from hell”. It would really help if you could post any replies you get to the letters you have written, whether they are positive or negative. It’s great to give advice but at the moment there appears to be so may grey areas that any input from yourself on this would help greatly in building the “bigger picture” as to where we all stand regarding this issue.

                            Hope all goes well Kevin