UKTC Archive

RE: [EXTERNAL] Tree Policy - Exceptional circumstances

Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Tree Policy - Exceptional circumstances
From: Howe, Ron
Date: Jul 08 2019 08:04:31
Is the matter really exceptional or are the customers issues simply 
mitigating circumstances?

Ron Howe
Tree Officer (Planning)
Mole Valley District Council
Tel. 01306 XXX XXX

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
On Behalf Of Ed Faherty
Sent: 05 July 2019 07:37
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Tree Policy - Exceptional circumstances

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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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