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Concerns over tree which blocked Norwich road were raised more than a year ago

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 September 2014

Catherine Spencer and Green city councillor Lucy Galvin with the fallen tree in Dereham Road. Pic: Submitted.

Catherine Spencer and Green city councillor Lucy Galvin with the fallen tree in Dereham Road. Pic: Submitted.

Submitted

Concerns about a tree which blocked a Norwich road when one of its branches fell off were first raised almost a year ago, it has emerged.

But Norwich City Council says it is up to 78-year-old Catherine Spencer, in whose front garden the tree stands, to make it safe.

A branch of the copper beech tree, protected by a Tree Preservation Order, fell into Dereham Road on Friday and was still blocking the pavement yesterday.

Norwich City Council cleared the road, but said they had not done the pavement as it could make the rest of the fallen branch unstable. That means it is up to Mrs Spencer to sort out the problem.

She said: “The tree is old and small branches have been falling off, and I raised this as a danger a year ago and numerous times before that. The council didn’t want to know.

“They said it’s your tree, your problem. People who have protected trees should have help and I have had none at all.”

Green city councillor Lucy Galvin, who raised the issue in April last year, said more should have been done to help.

But Keith Driver, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, said when Mrs Galvin contacted the council, an inspection was carried out from the highway perspective, which showed no indication of instability.

He said: “It is the responsibility of owners who have trees on their properties to get them inspected for signs of structural issues and to clear fallen branches that aren’t on the highway, should the need arise.

“In this case, we understand it is a stressful situation for the resident so we are making every effort to help her in organising contractors to get the tree cleared as quickly and easily as possible.”

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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