In order to fulfil its obligations towards the public, the Council will carry out regular inspections and maintain trees in a reasonably healthy condition; this will generally include:
- Removing dead, dying, or dangerous trees;
- Removing major dead wood (over 25mm in diameter) where it overhangs private or Council property;
- Removing dangerous or damaged branches;
- Pruning branches where an actionable legal nuisance is being caused e.g. over footpaths/roads, or where there is a risk of damage to structures.
The Council does not, as a matter of routine, undertake to prune back or remove trees or overhanging branches other than for public safety or to abate an actionable nuisance. It therefore does not generally:
- Prune or fell trees to improve light to a property;
- Prune or fell trees to improve the view to a property;
- Systematically crown reduce or 'top' trees;
- Prune or fell trees with regard to seasonal nuisance (leaf letter, honey dew etc).
However, the Council wishes to act in a reasonable manner towards its neighbours and will consider requests and suggestions from residents on an individual basis. The decision will normally be taken by the Environment Committee, looking at the request in the wider context, including the Council's wish to conserve, and if possible extend, the number of trees in the town centre. In addition, the Committee will take into account the need to give priority to works identified in Tree Condition Reports and any other tree works needed for reasons of safety.
If the Environment Committee agrees to the proposed work, a decision will also be taken as to whether it should be carried out at the Council's expense or a charge made to the resident.