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  1. Being within a conservation area I needed to give notice to the planning department that I intended to remove the 2 trees that would allow me to make full use of the space at the bottom of the garden for my building. One of the trees was a lovely Ash tree but unfortunatley (for the tree and the enviroment) it was signicantly diseased with an almost hollow trunk at ground level, extending down to the routes that would at some time fall down (see picture of tree surgeon hiding inside the tree, once it was cut). This was fortunate for my build as the tree having a limited life span was likely to get permission to be removed. The second tree was a large bay leaf tree. I was waiting on 'tenderhooks' for 6 weeks before getting the go ahead to remove the trees. I was now under pressure to get the trees down and start excavating - at this stage I was optimistic that I would be able to get the foundations and walls up before winter set in! I hired a tree surgeon to take down the Ash tree but to save costs I took responsibility for dealing with disposal - a big bonfire of all the smaller branches and greenery - I have kept the bulk of the timber for future use in a wood stove - still have to work out how to get it dry! I decided with the help of friends to DIY this tree. We managed to take it down without any incidents but unlike the Ash tree it sat on the building plot and the stumps and roots needed to be removed. The tree surgeon offered to grind it out for £1000 and effectively said we would never get out with our digger, picks and shuffles. We decided to prove him wrong and a couple of days later we had it out ( see video). It took many more hours, periodically chipping away at it over subsequent weeks before we got it to a size we could get it out of the back garden, transported on the digger. Digging the hole was a long job we hired a 1.5 ton digger which we got down the side of the house by agreeing with the neighbour to take down some fencing, the payback being I'd put up new fencing which they were happy about. We initially wheel barrowed the earth out to the front to be taken away on grab lorries but it was really hot and tiring. After 5 muck away trucks (estimated 80 tonnes) we hired a mini digger which worked a treat, in all I think we had 14 muck away trucks with a peak of 3 in one day! Bay_leaf_removal.mp4
  2. Hi folks, My first time here after being a veteran of the old ebuild forum back in the day. 🙂 Scenario: You are planning to build within the RPA of tree(s) protected by a TPO, and you supply the council with a method statement signed-off by the required experts (arboriculturalist or whoever else may be required) as providing adequate protection for the tree (e.g. piling etc.). Assuming the council doesn't dispute the expert's statement, can the council still refuse to grant planning on the basis of the construction being within the RPA of the TPO?
  3. Advice and opinions please , in my outline planning 3 trees have been approved to be cut down and removed to create access to the plot, my architect has advised not to touch them until detailed planning has been passed ,the builders i am in contact with say they would remove as soon as possible. I am struggling to see what difference it would make to wait as they have to come down to get access, they sit next to a 2m deep ditch which also has planning to be filled to create a 4m wide drive across it. If I cut them down and make access before detailed planning what's the problem 🤔?
  4. In this thread: I mentioned a problem that has just arisen, because the neighbour over the other side of the lane from us has cut down a 30ft high Leylandii hedge, removing a great deal of privacy from the front of our house. At first, I was concerned with the problem of our windows at the front being directly opposite their bedroom windows, but now that the whole hedge is down, it's clear that our garden as well as the front of the house is now overlooked, and we will need to put some form of privacy screen or fence in place. We were planning to fit a low fence along the edge of the lawn, on top of the wall shown in this photo: However, the very tall hedge (at the extreme right in the above photo) has now been cut down so that it is at the level of the roof of my car, and the whole first floor of the house that is behind that hedge now looks directly at our house and garden. As I mentioned in the other thread, we have two fences already, the 800mm high post and rail fence that runs alongside the path at the right side of the drive in the above photo, plus another 1.2m high post and rail fence at the boundary, which is about 1.5m below the drive and between 1.5m and 2.5m away from the fence that is visible above. My question is really about planning law, and what constitutes a fence. We are in an AONB, so even a 2m fence, that would normally be OK as PD, would require planning permission. To provide any privacy at all, given the relative levels, would need a fence that's around 2.5m high, if it were placed along the line of the visible fence in the photo. Eventually, the hedging plants that we've planted behind the lower fence (a mic of hawthorn, blackthorn, field maple, hazel and wild rose) will grow to a height to provide some screening, but that will take several years. I've been working through several ideas, and have read on a few sites that something like a trellis is deemed to be "decorative", rather than a fence, as such. One option that may work for us is to bolt some tall posts to the existing fence posts and then fit a tall trellis of screen above the post and rail fence. If the screen were fixed to the outer face of the posts, that nearest the lane, I could put some decent soil/compost behind the retaining timber at the base of the fence, and plant some climbers up the trellis/screen, probably to a height of around 2.5m above the drive level. I think this could look more attractive than a plain fence, but my real concern is whether such a plant support would need planning permission. Our neighbour to the East (behind the house in the above photo) has a vegetable garden adjacent to the lane, and that has a fruit cage, plus bean sticks etc, that are taller than the 2m allowed for a fence, so I'm guessing that a plant support screen might be considered in the same way under planning rules. Unfortunately, I can't ask the planners without paying them £90, as they no longer speak to the public, so I'm hoping that the collective knowledge here may know the answer!
  5. I can’t help wondering whether an “expertly topped tree” is actually a thing. Perhaps they will also expertly maintain my windows with a sledgehammer.