UKTC Archive

Tree Policy - Exceptional circumstances

Subject: Tree Policy - Exceptional circumstances
From: Ed Faherty
Date: Jul 05 2019 06:37:06
Dear All,

This question is primarily directed towards present and former Tree
Officers -

Have you heard of or ever come across a local authority where they used a
set criteria for discretionary decisions for approving tree works which sat
outside of their tree policy. For example the criteria might be used when a
request had been made to increase light levels into a garden. As the TO you
followed policy which stated the council wouldn’t prune trees to improve
light levels into a home/garden. Subsequently the enquirer raised a formal
complaint with the primary objection against the decision being that they
were registered as sight impaired.

We’ve a case at the moment which may go through to the Housing Ombudsman
and our senior management team are asking me to review our tree policy
potentially adding something which shows we had exhausted all options.
Currently when a formal complaint is raised against a decision the final
verdict sits with senior management who will assess the complaint on a case
by case basis……..if I do have to alter the policy I am thinking about
adding something along the lines of….

*Exceptional Circumstances*

Where it can be demonstrated that a tree or trees are causing serious
significant detriment to a tenants life, then works up to and including
removal of those trees may be considered. In situations where agreement has
not been reached between the tenant and Silva Homes Tree Officer, the Head
of Customer Services (Executive Member) may determine that due to the
specific circumstances a special case can be made resulting in agreed works
being carried out which may fall outside of this policy guidance. Typically
special cases will be subject to an assessment of the situation against a
set criteria. Following an assessment a final decision will be taken by the
Executive Member and answer provided to the tenant.

I am guessing there are no examples of such a criteria or industry standard
protocols for dealing with these situations and that most LAs deal with
complaints on a case by case basis.

Any feedback would be welcome, regards Ed.

*Ed Faherty*
Estates Services Tree Officer
Silva Homes

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