Tree fears grow for Kirkby woman

A FED-UP Kirkby woman says she is mystified as to why a preservation order has been imposed on two trees which have caused regular problems to her home for more than a decade.

Julie Vardy has lived with her partner on Diamond Avenue since the late 1990s in which time the two horse chestnut trees have caused problems including damaging roof tiles, blocked gutters and cracked her driveway from growing tree roots.

Despite several complaints to Ashfield District Council and supporting letters from former Ashfield MP Geoff Hoon and current local parliament member Gloria De Piero, Julie says nothing has been done about the problem.

“The tree roots are as long as the trees are high and have caused cracks and bumps in my driveway,” she said.

“Everyone I have spoken to at the council agrees that the trees should not have been planted there but nobody has done anything about it.

“The trees have sticky buds which drop all over my drive so I can’t park my car there.”

The tree preservation order prohibits anyone from cutting down, chopping or lopping any of the trees without the council’s consent - although trees are now owned by supermarket Morrisons, which recently bought the surrounding land to build a new superstore this year.

“I’m very surprised why the council has just sent me this order and I was only given until 19th January to appeal but they’ve just sent me a load of paperwork.”

An Ashfield District Council spokesman said that officers have contacted Mrs Vardy and explained that the trees were not owned by the council and remain in private ownership.

“With the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in place, this means that the council can control how they are cut and the landowners have to apply to the council if they want to remove the trees or perform any tree works.

“The council has no authority to intervene with the issue.