Crigglestone Parish Council is responsible for trees in Betty Eastwood Park and at Durkar Lane, Howard Crescent and Willow Garth. These areas are inspected on a regular basis by the Parish Council and an independent risk assessment is carried out every two years.
The Parish Council will act in accordance with Wakefield Council’s Policies (page 22) as follows:
- If a tree that is owned or managed by the Parish Council is touching private property (dwelling, house, wall, garage etc), the Parish Council will take action to remove the nuisance.
- The Parish Council will not prune or fell trees that overhang private property or that block natural light or block views. Adjoining owners may cut back overhanging branches with the Council’s prior consent.
- The Council will not prune, fell or cut roots to prevent roots entering private drains.
- The Council will not prune or fell trees that affect private property by reason of leaf, blossom or fruit fall, effect of sap, bird droppings, or wildlife and insects in trees.
- The Council will not prune or fell trees to improve satellite and television reception or the performance of solar collectors or to reduce interference with telephone wires.
- The Council will not prune or fell any tree considered to be ‘too big’ or ‘too tall’.
- The Council will look into reports of vandalism to its trees and try to repair damage.
- If Council trees are associated with crime or anti-social behaviour, measures will be considered to address the problem.
- Claims for subsidence damage due to Council trees should be pursued through property owners’ insurance in the first instance
Crigglestone Parish Council
Trees Overhanging Property
We will not prune or fell a tree that is owned or managed by the Council to alleviate the nuisance of branches overhanging private property.
Enquirers will be informed of the policy within 10 days.
The nuisance caused by overhanging branches may be considered as part of our general tree work programme, however this programme is discretional and subject to the availability of funding.
The following information may also be useful advice to those that may wish to cut branches themselves:
Common Law Rights
In the English legal system, Common Law refers to laws that have been developed through precedent set by similar cases as opposed to being created through legislative statutes.
Under English Common Law Rights, you have a right to remove (abate) the nuisance associated with trees encroaching onto your property. The following advice with respect to encroaching trees is given for general guidance only. You are advised to obtain independent legal advice before acting:
a) You can only consider removing those parts of the tree from the point where they cross the boundary of your property. You must not go beyond your property boundary without the permission of the tree owner. You have no legal right to cut or remove any part of a tree that does not overhang your property.
b) You are strongly advised to consult a professional tree surgeon for guidance on how best to prune back encroaching trees, unless the works are trivial meaning you could do the works with hand secateurs or similar.
c) You are strongly advised to tell the owner of the trees what you plan to do. You can find out if the trees are managed by the Parish Council by contacting the Parish Clerk.
d) Before you consider doing any works to the trees you should find out if they are protected by a Tree Preservation Order or if they are in a Conservation Area. If trees are protected, then you will need to gain consent by making an application / give notice to the District Council. For guidance on how to check if the trees are protected and how to make an application please telephone the Contact Centre at Wakefield Council.
e) Legally you do not own those parts of the tree that encroach over your property and you should make arrangements to return these to the owner. You are advised to discuss this with the Council/your neighbour to agree a mutually acceptable solution.
f) If your actions render a tree to be unsafe you may be liable for any subsequent damage that results from tree failure.