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Towering tree causes worry for Hurworth grandfather
A GRANDFATHER is calling for action amid fears a 100ft oak tree could come crashing down on top of his home when the wintry weather takes hold.
Geoffrey Scott, of Hurworth Place, near Darlington, saw gale force winds tear a beech tree out of the ground close to his home last December.
The tree, which the 59-year-old says had been deemed safe by Darlington Borough Council (DBC), fell a short distance from his home.
Now Mr Scott, a semi-retired former council Street Scene team leader, is concerned history could repeat itself – with potentially tragic consequences.
He said: “We have an oak tree, less than five metres from where the beech tree stood, that is well over 100ft tall and top heavy with branches that lean right over mine and my neighbour’s gardens.
“I have been concerned about this tree for about nine years.
“Every winter when the ground gets soaked, it loosens the soil/clay at the base of the tree and I have seen it move on several occasions.
Mr Scott accused the council’s tree experts of "paying lip service" to his concerns.
He said: “The council’s arborist was supposed to come and take a look, but he hasn’t and I just feel as if I am getting nowhere.
“The tree will probably demolish the house if it fell, never mind anybody who happened to be in the way at the time.
“I would like to see the tree either reduced in size or removed, but this requires permission from the council first.
“This has not happened and we are currently living in fear every time we have a gale force wind.”
A DBC spokeswoman said the tree is on land owned by Hurworth Parish Council, and is covered by a tree preservation order.
Any efforts to amend the order, with a view to potentially felling the tree, would be subject to borough council planning approval and would need to come via the parish council Mr Scott’s concerns were sympathetically received by members of the parish council at a meeting on Thursday (September 5).
Parish councillors agreed to ask their clerk, Peter Allan, to liaise with DBC on the issue.
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