UKTC Archive

Re: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability

Subject: Re: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability
From: Andy Smith
Date: Jul 11 2019 11:30:47
Mark,

I've not come across that standard but it sounds a bit harsh and we could
lose a lot of trees through it especially in churchyards, we should all
club together to get a copy. On the plus side its below most peoples radar

Andy

On Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:20 PM Mark <markhinsley@xxxxxxxxxxx.info> wrote:

I wonder what BS8002:2015 Code of Practice for Retaining Structures has to
say on the matter. I don't have the new one because I am not made of money
- but the old one basically said that a tree should not be kept on the top
side of a retaining wall if it is within its own height. Could be
significant - particularly as this is a Code of Practice - not a
recommendation.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
<uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
On Behalf Of Philip Wilson
Sent: 11 July 2019 09:48
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: RE: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability

A pretty kettle of fish, just as I thought. In case you're wondering my
client is the lower landowner, who also owns the wall. There's no
displacement so far as is known, but clearly the client should conserve the
wall in good condition and be seen to be doing so (which relates to
vegetation management).
With thanks, Philip


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Jerry Ross
Sent: 11 July 2019 09:35
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability


On 11/07/2019 08:53, Alastair Durkin wrote:
I would leave that for those qualified to do so to work out and the
come in to address the tree issues! 😉

You're probably right Alastair, but you're a TO with a legal team at your
back. As a jobbing consultant one tries to help one's client as best one
can (assuming they deserve help!)  So if one can advise (with suitable
caveats about the limits of one's qualifications) that it's not worth
spending money on a lawyer as they are likely to lose the case anyway, that
seems fair enough.
And in this case, it's my (admittedly unqualified opinion) that the lower
landowner is on a hiding to nothing: my understanding is that whoever it is
that has legal ownership of the wall has the duty of care to maintain it in
such a condition that the higher land is prevented from collapsing onto the
lower. So if ownership is clearly with the lower landowner, it is they that
have the duty to maintain it in a functioning condition.
That function is to withstand the forces imposed by the retained land.
The difference would come if an additional factor (such as a tree, or
perhaps water from a leaking pipe or a pond) is introduced from above that
increases those forces...

If your client is the lower landowner, that's the advice I'd give. If it's
the upper I'd be more cautious, as getting it wrong could have expensive
consequences (if, for instance, the case is deadlocked, the wall collapses
and it then turns out that actually the upper owner WAS responsible after
all...).
But in either case  (especially the latter) I'd give supplementary advice
to check with a lawyer!.



-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info
<uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> On Behalf Of Philip Wilson
Sent: 11 July 2019 06:22
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability

Whatever the ownership of a retaining boundary wall, am I right in
thinking that the landowner on the upper side must remedy any trespass
caused by an outward displacement of the wall?



But what if the wall is owned by the lower landowner, who has allowed
the wall to fall into disrepair, without any foreseeable predisposing
factor (such as a boundary tree on the upper land) increasing the lateral
thrust on the wall?



Philip






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The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
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