Dispute over tree in my garden

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I would like some guidance over an issue concerning a tree in the garden of a flat I own.

The owners of the building next door (a property company) have built an extension adjoining and overlooking my garden, close to the boundary wall. The company built this extension recently in 2007 and wish me to remove the tree as they claim it is a 'legal nuisance' both in terms of branches and roots.

I have found out that my property is in the 'Town Centre and Seafront Conservation Area' so I cannot remove or do anything to the tree without the borough council's consent.

Also, I am uncertain as to whether I have to act at all as the tree was present before the extension was built, yet nothing was brought to my attention by the property company at the time of the building of the extension.

I am not a leaseholder not the freeholder. A letter I sent to the Leasehold Advisory Service in 2008 received a reply which states that the freeholder effectively owns the tree and that it would be advisable for him to refer any claim that might arise to the insurer for advice 'as this would then form a 3rd party claim against the owner of the property'.

The property company is now rattling a sabre at me and will take action if I do not act. But all the legal advice I have gathered so far seems to indicate that I am not required to do anything. Hopefully I am not misguided in this opinion and would welcome any advice.

26/04/2010 00:00

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