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Request for action on fallen York Hill tree

by admin on September 9th, 2020
The fallen tree obstructing the footpath on York Hill Green has become something of a saga with the District Council insisting this is the responsibility of the owner of the property bordering the Green. However action may now be on the way…..

Cllr Bob Jennings is still on the case of the fallen tree across the footpath on York Hill Green (see report in Open Forum from May), demonstrating that patience is a prime requirement for the role of local councillor. He has shared a letter from Stephen Cozens, the District Council Arboriculture Officer, dated 3 August.

Good morning: We have been contacted by Councillor Jennings regarding an overgrowth of vegetation obstructing a footpath to the side of 1 Woodbury Hill, Loughton. As you can see in the photos attached, the vegetation is below 2.5m and does cause obstruction to any pedestrians walking on that pathway. Highway records have confirmed that the obstructing vegetation is an historic boundary feature and the responsibility of the adjacent land owner (1 Woodbury Hill).

As you are aware EFDC (Epping forest district council) do not have any enforcement powers with regards t//o footpaths or the public maintainable Highway, and therefore cannot serve the necessary 154 notices to any property owners. Please can you contact the resident of 1 Woodbury Hill and inform that they have a duty of care when it comes to vegetation and trees on their land, which cause hazard or risk to the surrounding area. The trees may also be under a TPO or within a conservation area, the residents should confirm with the EFDC planning team on if such a preservation order is in place, details of what to do next will be provided by the planning team if necessary.

Kind Regards

Stephen Cozens
Arboriculture Officer

In a later post on HillsWatch District Council Tree Officer Robin Hellier states:

Apologies for the delay in reply but the trees you have photographed appear to be privately owned TPOs. I will pass on your concerns to our Grounds Maintenance team, who ensure rights of way are free from obstruction or imminent danger. I will indicate that the works are exempt for safety reasons and ask that they are inspected.


Robin Hellier Dip. Arb. (R.F.S)
Tree and Landscape Officer
Planning Services
Epping Forest District Council

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