B'ham City council Grrrrrr (maybe) Help please

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  • B'ham City council Grrrrrr (maybe) Help please
  • JonBoy
    Member

    My mom has a (large) conifur tree at the bottom of her garden at the fence line. The roots have started to lift the tarmac pavement on the side of the fence which is a private road to garages and such. If we want it to be resurfaced we have to pay kinda thing.

    Now the council have given her 28 days to sort it out or else. Can they do this? It does need to be done and is something we were planning to do in spring when weather and money are better.

    Can i point out the numerous trees in the area that are on council land that have the same problem but more likley to injure someone and insist the fix all of these?

    fatgit
    Member

    Hi
    A couple of questions!!
    1. When you say the road is “private”- who’s is it?
    If its not the Councils then they are unlikely to have any legal interest in the land and may be just chancing their arm. It will be the landowners responsibility and it is likely they would have to take private action against your mam to remedy unless you do it out of goodwill.

    2. You say the Council have given you 28 days-how have they done this?
    By letter (no real legal standing) then you could wait til spring or by Legal enforcement notice then it will have a compliance date but should also have some details of appeal rights

    Really need more info to comment further

    Cheers
    Steve

    JonBoy
    Member

    The land is owned by my mom, the bit outside her garage to the middle of the road anyway.(in the deeds, can park untaxed cars on it and the google cars cant go down it ect)

    They have given us 28 days by letter addresed to Occupier. (excuse my spelling) not a notice as far as i know.

    fatgit
    Member

    Hi
    If it was me I would be asking them under what authority they are saying you have to do the work.
    The letter should detail why and under what legisalation they are operating in this instance.
    Councils have to work to set rules but sometimes try to chance it.
    If its not a legal notice then you dont have to do the work in the timescale or maybe even at all, if it is ( and they are operating legally) then you do unless you appeal within the relevant time.
    A letter is the first step in trying to get you to do something (there may have been a complaint made to them by one of the other land owners)but carries very little legal weight, if any!!!
    They may be saying your mams land is a nuisance or is predjudicial to health etc etc but I am a bit surprised that they are bothering themselves
    Sorry to be a bit vague but still a bit lacking in info
    Cheers
    Steve

    JonBoy
    Member

    Thanks for the help. We have tried to contact them but they are closed until the new year.

    We will get them to explain exactly why we should do this before we even think about it first.

    fatgit
    Member

    Good plan
    When you get more info come back to me if you want.
    I am not a lawyer but am a Council employee so know a little about how things work.
    Email in profile if you want to contact me
    Cheers
    Steve

    matt1986
    Member

    It is difficult to give advice on things like this without seeing the letter, but the council can legally enforce home owners and landlords to undertake work if it effects them, i.e. if a building in a city centre is in a bad state of disrepair then they will enforce the landlord to carry out works to renovate the property. If it is private land then the council have no authority to act it would have to be the owner of the land and they would need to go through the legal route to force you to do it. This would be a civil case and under Part 1.1 of the Civil Procedure Rules they would have to give you every chance to rectify the problem before issuing proceedings. If this is the case it would be worth contacting them and explaining that you are going to do it in the spring. In fact if it’s the council this may be a good course of action as well they are unlikely to take you to court if you’re going to do it in spring as it will cost and by the time it gets to court it will be nearly spring.

    JonBoy
    Member

    My mom owns the freehold so no issue there

    Junkyard
    Member

    seems odd they are asking you to repair a road they dont own and have no duty to maintain- I assume someone has complained.
    Probably chancing it but without reading the whole letter who knows

    sqweeeezzz
    Member

    I’m an ex BCC Tree Officer, email me with the details and I’ll let you know what the situation is likely to be.

    Email in profile.

    Nick

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    Are you absolutely sure it’s from the council and not something knocked up by a neighbour or other road user. Wouldn’t be difficult to do.

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    Looks like good advise above, also try Garden law

    swamp_boy
    Member

    Does the letter mention the Local Government [Miscellaneous Provisions] Act 1976? Section 23 gives councils powers to make owners deal with dangerous trees, if they don’t the council can do the work themselves and recover the money. However in my experience most are way too over burdened to bother with trip hazards on private land, it does sound a bit dodgy. Bit odd that it seems to have arrived just before nearly all the staff will be away for a long time.

    Sounds well worth contacting squeeeezzz for a bit of background.

    JonBoy
    Member

    Thanks guys for your help. will see if i can copy the letter tomorrow.

    I am also a County Borough Tree Officer so may be able to offer some advice if needed – basically you will need to say which Dept. has issued the letter and what type of letter it is – is it a notice (it will say “Notice” on it if it is)? The letter should have a title which must also say which Act the “notice” has been served under, why it has been served and what the minimum remedial action must be. As a point of interest your Local Authority cannot carry out any works which would leave the tree in an unsafe state – for example severing the root if it leaves the tree unstable.

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