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.


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.


  • I think mr mayhem is correct .We here in norwich do need a new ' tree planning officer' maybe he's the man for the job. He talks a lot of sense. the trees are poorly looked after, he should now how to get things into shape, including the 'out of shape gardeners' that think they can climb. and as for leaving these poor people to sort something out themsleves and pay for it out of thier own pocket' out rage i say'

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    Captain Chaos

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • mr mayhem? Once again you make a fool of yourself. Norwich is one of the most densely populated cities in the country with trees The majority of which are healthy and in good shape. Trees do grow old, get bigger, carry deadwood and get diseases. Our city trees are maintained to a fantastic standard and this is recognised by most people. Landowners are fully responsible for their own trees and thus have a duty of care to the tree and the public. Considering the huge recession we are working to climb out of, the cities trees look great.

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    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • Norwich city council has been neglecting it's trees and it's responsibilities for some years now. As a former tree surgeon I am disgusted by the state of the trees in Norwich, some are overgrown, many are diseased and a lot of them are downright dangerous, even trees in public parks are very poorly maintained. The councils answer is taking down perfectly good trees while ignoring the dangerous ones as can be witnessed in some parks. The council do not even have a specialist tree surgery department any more, just some gardeners with limited climbing ability, some safety certificates from Easton college, and no real knowledge of trees or tree surgery. The council should pull it's collective fingers out, and get a new Tree planning officer before something really big comes down.

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    mr mayhem

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • I realise that the council have no obligation to deal with a tree on private property.. however, not clearing the footpath is the council shirking it's responsibility. If they have had a team, with chainsaws and other equipment, clearing the road, would it have been such a major issue to cut the branch right back to the tree? They could then advise the lady to have the tree inspected by contractors and dealt with accordingly. I appreciate that the taxpayer is NOT responsible for the upkeep of private property, but on a day when all taxpayers in the country start paying for free school meals for the lower age group, (feeding other people's children), this seems penny pinching in the extreme.

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    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • Agree with Mr rationality. The suggetsion is the Council have done nothing and are not being helpful enough....its not their tree, there is no legal onbligation, and if they were to be "Helpful" in every such case that would aither cost the taxpayer more or affect others ervices....

    Report this comment

    Stephen Strange

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • Why isn't this article titled "tree owners shirks responsibility, blocks road"

    Report this comment

    Mr Rationality

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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