on 02-02-2011 13h50
I really hope someone can help me with my query! My neighbour seems to have lost his mind and cut down ALL the trees on his land (he doesn't live there, just owns the land next to our house). His reason being to, 'clear away from the phone lines'. 90% of the trees were nowhere near any lines. He has now stated that our cherry trees will need to be severely cut back as the lines are passing through their branches. In doing so we will lose the top of the trees and essentially be left with a trunk. I DO NOT want my trees to be touched as they are the only thing standing between our garden and a mill development. As he has now cut all of his trees down we are left with virtually no privacy as we are overlooked by the mill.
My question is, am I legally obliged to remove my trees from the path of the phone lines? There are 4 lines in total going to 4 different dwellings. I have lived here for nearly 10 years and have never experienced problems with our lines and neither have any of our neighbours. I'm desperate to keep my trees and would really appreciate some advice!!
on 02-02-2011 13h54
You didn't mention whether your cherry trees were on your property? If so, then he wouldn't be permitted to gain access to any removal of branches as is the current law.
As per the scenario regarding the phone lines, do you know what has initiated this desire to want to rid the land of the trees? If this is creating a genuine issue, then he will need to liaise with the ISP in question who will then liaise with Openreach to arrive at a solution. This may result in a deviation of the existing pole.
Nevertheless, if you feel strongly against his actions, then why not stand your ground (no pun intended!)?
on 02-02-2011 14h11
Thanks for the quick response Kyle!
The trees are on my land but are right up to the boundary fence. He wants to cut back the overhanging branches, which is almost one half of the tree... eek! There is no reason that I can see for him having removed his trees. He is however in league with the developer of the mill so there may be a reason from the developers point. Can't quite see what the reason would be as I mentioned there have been no problems with the phone lines before. I understand that he is within his rights to remove overhanging branches but as I mentioned he doesn't currently use the land as a garden and it seems a bit mean minded of him to do this to our trees and remove any last bit of privacy we have.
I guess I just want to know if I'm supposed to clear the whole tree by law. I know I'm going to have to accept the removal of the branches from his side but I just need to know that I can keep the trees even though the wires are passing through them.
02-02-2011 14h30 - edited 02-02-2011 14h31
I think that depends on the conditions of the wayleave if one exists by which BT sited the pole on your property
house deeds may show some info if deeds exist otherwise try asking Openreach
You may well be liable for damage caused to the wire by your tree
on 02-02-2011 14h54
Thanks Hamish72 I'll look into the wayleave issue.
The pole isn't sited on our property but at the corner of the mill development.
on 02-02-2011 15h00
I believe a wayleave is needed if the lines cross your boundary at any point not just to site a pole
on 02-02-2011 21h52
Generally speaking, if the branches from your trees are growing over somebody else's property, they are allowed to cut them off. To remain legal, they should offer you the branches back (you might want them as firewood!).
They aren't allowed to cut off anything on your property. Whether or not the trees are causing a problem to the telephone lines is between you and BT Openreach.