UKTC Archive

Re: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability

Subject: Re: displacement of a retaining boundary wall - liability
From: Jerry Ross
Date: Jul 11 2019 11:31:40
All 25m trees to be felled if less that 20m from a retaining wall?
Was that Code of Practice drawn up having taken advice from arboriculturists or others with a knowledge of tree root growth and morphology?




On 11/07/2019 12:03, Mark 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
http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/