A tree which hangs over a bridge on the Norfolk Broads will be allowed to stay in place, despite the owner's fear that it could fall over and destroy the only entrance to a home. 

The Broads Authority (BA) has rejected a request to chop down a mature Scots pine which dangles over a bridge leading to homes on Lower Street, Horning, next to the River Bure. 

The BA's planning committee agreed to put in place a tree protection order (TPO) to ensure the perennial plant cannot be chopped down without applying to the authority first. 

Officials argued the tree has a “high amenity value,” visually contributing to the site and should be kept in place. 

Eastern Daily Press: James KnightJames Knight (Image: Archant)

But James Knight, a former member of the committee and the applicant to cut down the tree, said: “I’m told this type of tree doesn’t like the wet conditions this one is in, none of the root system is in solid ground - they are effectively growing out of the water. 

“Our primary concern is for the neighbours, there’s no land access to the house other than over the bridge. 

“If this was in a wood it is unlikely to cause any impact but in this case, it will destroy the access to the house.” 

Eastern Daily Press: The tree overhangs a bridge in HorningThe tree overhangs a bridge in Horning (Image: Google)

However, the authority’s tree protection officer argued that while the plant has a “lean” it was in a healthy state, with nothing to suggest it was likely to fall over.  

He also said the roots were acting like “guy ropes” helping to keep the tree in position and it had successfully held out against heavy winds and gales.  

Another officer added: “It has grown with the lean and morphology of the tree has grown to support that and there is no great risk of it falling.” 

Members of the committee sided with officers and a TPO was put in place.