Our jobsworth council has BANNED my neighbour from cutting his tree – it drips sap on our cars and we need it trimmed | The Sun

RESIDENTS have been left furious after the council banned their neighbour from cutting his tree.

The lime tree was last cut back after those living on the Hampshire street also complained the monstrosity's branches were touching power cables, and its dropped leaves were blocking drains.

But, the tree, thought to be more than 60 years old, now has a preservation order imposed on it by the council – which means that the homeowner could be breaking the law if they cut it.

The Southampton homeowner tried to fight against the protection and argued the tree's sap causes damage to their car roof and property – but failed.

Neighbours have now said they have the same concerns.

Claire Burlingham, 37, lives next door and agreed the tree was causing massive issues.

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Claire said: "We need trees but it was causing problems with the power lines when it was windy.

"The leaves were blocking the drains, you'd get about five bin bags full out. The sap damages the car windscreens.

"I don't see why they have to ask the council for permission before touching it. They're always sticking their noses in."

The tree is now around 15ft high, and the same height as the surrounding houses, but it was said to be twice as big before the owners had contractors cut its upper branches in 2021.

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The homeowner always had to get permission from the council to do work on the tree and in 2018 did exactly that – asking chop it by 25 per cent.

The council deemed that the "potential harm to the tree" outweighed the problems of the fallen leaves and said that it could only be cut back by 1.5 metres.

Then, in April, the council received an anonymous call telling them the tree had been trimmed in such a way that it was left looking like a "lollipop".

As a result of the unauthorised cutting, a permanent Tree Protection Order (TPO) was proposed to be placed on the tree.

Neighbour Regina Sugajeva, 66, who lives a few houses down said: "It was huge before they cut it.

"The electricity wires were affected.

"It's good to have green spaces, but you have to evaluate the risk of trees like this."

However, another resident, who did not want to be named, disagreed.

I don't see why they have to ask the council for permission before touching it.

He said: "We don't want it cut any more. It's been here since we were kids. We've loved this tree.

"It's iconic, people look out for the tree to find our house on the road."

A spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: “The lime tree in question is an important amenity asset for Pennine Road.

"A covenant on the land protected the tree by requiring the landowner to agree any works to the tree in advance with the council.

"Works were agreed previously in Winter 2018/2019 and carried out.

"However in 2021 works were carried out without agreement with the council and to an extent which could have damaged the health of the tree, prompting the application for a Tree Preservation Order which was granted last month.

"The Tree Preservation Order does not mean that no works can be carried out, but reinforces the requirement for the landowner to agree the works in advance with the council and makes its status clearer to ensure the long term retention of the tree for future generations.

"The council has agreed works before and would be supportive of reasonable works in the future.”

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The Sun Online has contacted the council for further comment.

The tree's owners did not wish to comment.

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