Why can't we get these trees pruned?

  Graham. 15:09 20 Mar 10
Locked

A lady friend is 77. Her bungalow is overshadowed by trees click here which block out the sun all day in summer when the leaves are on.

In Autumn, the leaves fall in her garden.

The land is council owned public land, the council planted the trees. Her requests to the council Parks and Gardens over the years are met with 'the budget for the year has been spent'. And the trees grow taller.

Surely my friend has a legal right to sunlight?

  PalaeoBill 15:22 20 Mar 10

According to my councils web site, if the trees/branches are on council land there is nothing you can do. They say that you have no legal right to light.
If branches are overhanging your friends property you can complain to the council, state that they are causing a nuisance and ask that they be pruned back. You can only demand that they be pruned back if they are touching your property.
Alternatively if branches are overhanging your property you can take matters into your own hands, excerising your legal rights, and cut the branches back to your boundary. You have to foot the bill for this and put the cut branches over the boundary as they belong to the council.
I imagine all of this info will be in the FAQ section on your friends council website.

  birdface 15:43 20 Mar 10

Maybe have a look through this.

click here

  Graham. 15:45 20 Mar 10

Good link, I'm browsing...

  spuds 17:09 20 Mar 10

Having had experience with council versus public, I can suggest an option of asking the local councillor (if willing) or MP to assist.Council's can be very difficult people to deal with.

I had a problem with my local council, and their diversion of a watercourse onto my property. A very long story involving many people and including the Local Government Ombudsman.In the end the local MP resolved the issue.

  robgf 18:50 20 Mar 10

I can understand why the council don't want to help, cutting back that many trees would cost a fortune.

It could be much worse, one of the gardens I tend, did look out over a playing field, but has had a development of 580 flats built directly behind and to the sides. The garden is now overlooked by dozens of windows, in all directions!!!! I feel self conscious just working in it.

  Forum Editor 20:40 20 Mar 10

that's a myth. You may claim a 'right to light' if a window in your property has previously enjoyed uninterrupted use of the light for more than twenty years, but a window must be involved - you can't claim the right in respect of a garden.

You can certainly object if your neighbour proposes erecting a building that will exclude light from a window in your property, but that's a different thing - trees are involved in this case.

I doubt there's much this lady can do, apart from lopping the branches that hang over her boundary.

  Graham. 22:47 20 Mar 10

The windows of the bungalow have the sun blocked, as well as the garden. As these trees were planted after the houses were built, and after my friend bought the house, maybe there is a 'right to light' basis for a claim against the council.

Is there somewhere that could clarify the 'twenty year' rule?

  BT 07:44 21 Mar 10

It seems that those here are referring to the 'Ancient Lights' laws, which have the 20 year qualification. I have had a quick look and as far as I can see it only applies to someone erecting new buildings but I could be wrong.
Google Ancient Lights. There's lots of links.

  Quickbeam 09:14 21 Mar 10

"You may claim a 'right to light' if a window..."
I'll file that for future use FE, there is a growing trend down our street to extend to the side upto next doors boundary, I think my neighbour is considering this too and I will object on every available course of action.

  lotvic 12:39 21 Mar 10

In the house Deeds is a place to look.
In mine it details the 'right to light' or should I say 'lack of right to light'

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