UKTC Archive

RE: [EXTERNAL] Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep

Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep
From: Howe, Ron
Date: Sep 17 2020 10:46:16
The reason it's about money is because the more expensive the cost of repair 
(with the tree in situ) the higher our insurance premiums go up and, nobody 
wants that do they??

The insurers are, not unreasonably, in the business of making money and, 
protecting us as home owners. Over recent years I have found that, AVIVA in 
particular, are keen to work with tree owners and Local Authorities to avoid 
the removal of significant trees. Especially where the damage is minimal to 
modest on the BRE scale and, they tend to go for repair and live with it. 
And, there lies a major problem ... people are so intolerant of a few cracks 
these days but the insurers are fighting back in our favour!

As Jim says, everyone is entitled to enjoy their home in reasonable repair 
and if a neighbour's trees are contributing then that is a fact and the tree 
owner must mitigate or pay the costs of additional repairs to stabilise the 
building and compensate for the trees influence. Jerry-built conservatories 
(Orangeries!) is whole new ball game which needs regulating better ... ...

Ron Howe
Tree Officer (Planning)
Mole Valley District Council
Tel. 01306 XXX XXX
Website -www.molevalley.gov.uk




-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
On Behalf Of Bill Anderson
Sent: 09 September 2020 13:50
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep

Warning: email from outside of MVDC - if in any doubt do not open links or 
attachments, or carry out requested actions ________________________________


In my case, the disconcerting pattern is that I go along to see the tree 
that's caused the soil drying, I point out that there are various other 
factors that are also responsible for soil moisture failing to be 
replenished, and then the insurers go and get someone else to say it's the 
tree. And if I point out that it's only the conservatory or crappy extension 
that's suffering, while the original part of the house is untroubled, they 
still get someone else.
I've been kicking around this subject long enough to have been able to see 
one subsidence case that was cured by tree felling in the 1990s, only to see 
it recur and require even more tree felling 20 years later.
Oh and Wayne, that film despite being uploaded in 2015, is obviously much 
older. Both Dealga and Mike appeared to be barely out of short trousers, and 
they're of a similar vintage to me so unless they've both found the elixir of 
youth, it must have been made in at least the 1990s.
Bill.

On Wed, 9 Sep 2020 at 12:44, Jim Quaife <jq@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk> wrote:

The big problem with subs is that however lovely a tree might be, the
UK is one of the most home ownership obsessed countries, and that
relates to value.  A house is an investment as much as a home - full stop.
Insurance for subs only began in the 70s and claims have risen in
direct relationship to dry summers.
Insurance is all about money and the way in which it provides comfort
to the prospect of various risks.
So, a tree is implicated in damage to a house - what does that mean?
Well for one thing it means a challenge to the value of the building,
and that can be quantified (often by nuance).  If the damage is not
repaired and the tree remains, it will become worse - after all, the 
foundation is broken.
Choices?   1. Repair with tree removed, or 2, repair with tree retained.
Building insurance is usually a matter of making good and not
introducing improvements.
The 2nd choice is more often than not expensive, and usually more than
the cost of removing the tree.
Forget CAVAT.
Either the house owner owns the tree, (in which case the monetary
value is irrelevant), or it is owned by another.  Patterson v
Humberside City Council says that a tree need only be demonstrated to
be A cause of damage, not THE cause.
Being the owner of a tree is actually a very onerous responsibility,
but statistically they don't cause many serious problems.  If they did
we probably wouldn't have so many.

Whereas every subs case I have dealt with is individual, overall there
is a usually disconcerting  pattern.  I'm an optimist, and if building
regs are adhered to one should expect foundations to be built
properly, but that is not always the case, and of course new trees can be 
planted subsequently.

One has to be stoic!
Jim


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Jerry Ross
Sent: 09 September 2020 09:33
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep

Liam, this is a VERY LA-oriented view.

"All I'm saying is that if trees are the cause of the damage and that
it can be demonstrated that this is the case then why do so many
arboriculturists find it difficult to be objective about it?"

(a) Because very often the subs companies have the heft, money and
ruthlessness to bulldoze through cases with very little 'objective'
evidence, especially where private individual are concerned (although
LAs are not immune to fear of litigation) and (b) Because,
objectively, TREES HAVE VALUE which is generally totally disregarded.

You go on: "as far as I can remember it has never successfully been
used to defend against an application to fell a TPO tree causing subs
or a cost claim against a local authority"

As I say, an extremely LA oriented view. Most of the cases I have
dealt with over the years involve private individuals who are very
attached to their trees and suddenly receive letters from a subs
management company threatening all sorts of dire consequences if they
don't fell their tree, despite as often as not having no clear
evidence that the tree is the main, or even part of the problem (which 
itself is very often only minor).
The fact that courts have consistently sided with insurers against
tree owners doesn't mean that the law is right.
(I sometimes wonder how many judges have agreeable properties situated
in areas of clay in the home counties??)

As for the culpability of insurance companies, yes, the most egregious
attempts to threaten, manipulate and blackmail tree owners have been
done by subs management companies. But these are employed by insurance
companies who sell these cases on to them so that they (the subs
management
companies) can make a profit. I've heard it described in all
seriousness by someone who has had a long career in the business as
little more than a cartel




On 09/09/2020 08:13, Liam McKarry wrote:
I'm not defending the insurance industry but I think that we as
arboriculturists do get a bit exercised about this subsidence issue
and take it very personally.

All I'm saying is that if trees are the cause of the damage and that
it
can be demonstrated that this is the case then why do so many
arboriculturists find it difficult to be objective about it?

Why, when presented with evidence that shows shrinkable clay soils,
cyclical patterns of movement and root id do we still say that the
building is defective despite an engineer or surveyor saying it's the
trees causing the damage? This is something I find particularly
annoying as we seem to want to disregard the advice/expertise of
another industry because it doesn't sit well with our like of trees.
It's almost like we think that these people go out with some kind of tree 
hating agenda.

'...As far as I can see if my tree causes my house to subside, the
only
person to blame is the one that designed the foundations. Of course
that person might have said these foundations are OK but don't let
your Mulberry tree 5 metres away ever get to be more than 6 metres
tall with a commensurate spread, but as far as I'm aware
foundation-designers rarely say that...' Foundation depth and design
is largely controlled by building control and will need to comply with
the recommendations at that moment in time - the design will take into
account the Mulberry tree 5 metres away (although I'm pretty sure most
BC officers would tell the builder to get rid of the tree unless it's TPOd).

All I'm saying is that we should not get hung up on the inadequate
foundation argument because as far as I can remember it has never
successfully been used to defend against an application to fell a TPO
tree causing subs or a cost claim against a local authority - dwelling
on it delays the time taken to deal with the application/claim and
ultimately the person who suffers is the person with the damaged house


Regards

Liam McKarry
Arboricultural Officer (Planning)
Colchester Borough Council
Rowan House
33 Sheepen Road
Colchester
CO3 3WG
01206 XXXXXX



-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> On Behalf Of Bill Anderson
Sent: 08 September 2020 20:22
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep

This message originated Externally. Do not click links or open
attachments unless you recognise the sender, were expecting it and
know that the content is safe.

I don't think Law comes into it Liam. It's insurance industry
practice,
unless there's a dispute over who's tree it is that causes the problem
and who should have done something to prevent it. As far as I can see
if my tree causes my house to subside, the only person to blame is the
one that designed the foundations. Of course that person might have
said these foundations are OK but don't let your Mulberry tree 5
metres away ever get to be more than 6 metres tall with a commensurate
spread, but as far as I'm aware foundation-designers rarely say that.
I'd agree entirely that growing a dirty great Oak tree hard against a
wall ought to be an obvious no-no, but building something without
foundations and then blaming a random nearby tree is just illogical.

And off-hand I bet the insurance industry spends more of our
premiums on
keeping their execs in Porsches and BMWs than it does on subsidence payouts!

Bill.


On Tue, 8 Sep 2020 at 19:47, Liam McKarry <
Liam.McKarry@xxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk>
wrote:

Sorry Jerry I don’t agree - the cost of increased numbers of
insurance claims is met by premium prices going up; it’s a cost met by 
customers.

Liam McKarry
Arboricultural Officer (Planning)
01206 XXXXXX
________________________________
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info
<uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
on behalf of Jerry Ross <trees@xxxxxxxxxx.co.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 7:34:27 PM
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep

This message originated Externally. Do not click links or open
attachments unless you recognise the sender, were expecting it and
know that the content is safe.

"we demonise the insurance industry for trying to minimise the cost
to their customer"


Delete 'customer'; substitute 'shareholder'.

 From my mobile
On 8 September 2020 18:43:44 Liam McKarry
<Liam.McKarry@xxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk>
wrote:

Bill,

It’s merely a statement of how things are as per case law.

Even if the foundation is not deep enough, in the absence of tree
roots would the damage occur is one of the first questions asked.
I’m unaware that anyone has ever successfully challenged it in law
and therefore, however illogical it is, we just have to deal with it.

Subsidence is a divisive subject that as an industry we get
ourselves in knots over (unnecessarily in my opinion) and have
never really understood that at the bottom of this is usually a
person who just wants their house fixed and  (how much flak will I
get for that
one!)



Liam McKarry
Arboricultural Officer (Planning)
01206 XXXXXX
________________________________
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
on behalf of Bill Anderson <anderson.arb.original@xxxxxx.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 6:18:40 PM
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep

This message originated Externally. Do not click links or open
attachments
unless you recognise the sender, were expecting it and know that
the content is safe.

"Whether we like it or not inadequate foundations is rarely a good
defence
if the property is on a clay soil with a cyclical pattern of movement"

I don't see any logic in this statement Liam; why bother with
foundations at all? If the foundation is not adequate for the soil
type, doesn't meet spec, (specification) it's not really fair to
even
call it a foundation.
However if the foundation does meet the spec and still moves then
yes remove the tree, and hope that another one doesn't grow.
Notwithstanding the fact that if the foundation meets spec and
still the building cracks then the spec must have been wrong.

I'm not saying your quotation isn't an accurate summary of what
happens, just that it's not really logical, and certainly not fair.
Jerry has
summed
it up really eloquently in my opinion.



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural
consultancy and Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk
This email, and any attachment, is solely for the intended
recipient(s).
If
you have received it in error, you must not take any action based
upon
it,
or forward, copy or show it to anyone; please notify the sender,
then permanently delete it and any attachments. Any views or
opinions
expressed
are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent
those of Colchester Borough Council. Although the Council has
taken reasonable precautions to ensure there are no viruses in
this email, the Council cannot accept responsibility for any loss
or damage arising from this
email
or attachments. The Council takes the management of personal data
seriously
and it does this in compliance with data protection legislation.
For information about how personal data is used and stored, please
go to 
www.colchester.gov.uk/privacy<http://www.colchester.gov.uk/privacy>.



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural
consultancy and Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural
consultancy and Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk
This email, and any attachment, is solely for the intended recipient(s).
If you have received it in error, you must not take any action
based upon it, or forward, copy or show it to anyone; please notify
the sender, then permanently delete it and any attachments. Any
views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do
not necessarily represent those of Colchester Borough Council.
Although the Council has taken reasonable precautions to ensure
there are no viruses in this email, the Council cannot accept
responsibility for any loss or damage arising from this email or
attachments. The Council takes the management of personal data
seriously and it does this in compliance with data protection
legislation. For information about how personal data is used and
stored, please go to
www.colchester.gov.uk/privacy.



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural
consultancy and Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural
consultancy and Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk
This email, and any attachment, is solely for the intended recipient(s).
If you have received it in error, you must not take any action based
upon it, or forward, copy or show it to anyone; please notify the
sender, then permanently delete it and any attachments. Any views or
opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily represent those of Colchester Borough Council. Although
the Council has taken reasonable precautions to ensure there are no
viruses in this email, the Council cannot accept responsibility for
any loss or damage arising from this email or attachments. The Council
takes the management of personal data seriously and it does this in
compliance with data protection legislation. For information about how
personal data is used and stored, please go to 
www.colchester.gov.uk/privacy.







--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
and Stockholm Tree Pits https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk



--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy
and Stockholm Tree Pits https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk




--
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk
This MVDC email is only intended for the individual or organisation to whom 
or which it is addressed and may contain, either in the body of the email or 
attachment/s, information that is personal, confidential and/or subject to 
copyright. If you are not the intended recipient, please note that copying or 
distributing this message, attachment/s or other files associated within this 
email, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, 
please notify the sender immediately and then delete it.



-- 
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk