Leigh Advice for Gardeners?

April 2, 2018 by Melinda @ Giles Wilson Solicitors

Spring is finally here – Leigh Library Gardens says so! The daffodils are out, as they are in Leigh’s other beauty spots - along Marine Parade, Two Tree Island and the many lovely gardens in the area.  And so I thought it might be the time of year, when those gardeners amongst us might find some legal advice helpful – particularly if you are just off to the garden centre to buy a large tree to plant in your back garden, or if you need to cut back your neighbours’ overhanging branches.

Trees – seemingly such harmless creatures – but if you have a rare or particular tree in your garden then take heed if it has a Tree Preservation Order on it – or even if it does not!  TPO’s can be imposed very quickly if brought to the attention of the authorities, and this will limit your freedom in lopping or pruning it! How would you know? Well, this is something that is revealed in a Local Authority Search when you buy a property or at anytime if you wish to check.  

So it may seem simpler to buy a mature tree and plant it – perhaps to block out the neighbour’s view of your garden from the glass conservatory on their second floor – but again, take care! One of the few rights to light (or rather the right not to have it blocked) is where it has existed for over 20 years, and in such a case it may have its own right not to be blocked by a large tree.

Best stick to shrubs I can hear you say, a nice hedge, or fruit bush.  Good thoughts – provided that you can trim the hedge without having to climb into next door’s garden.  To do so without their permission is trespass – and careful when you plant a hedge – watch those boundaries – who do they belong to, who has responsibility for them, and exactly what position was that old fence in? Neighbourhood disputes are the worse – you just cannot escape the very person that you are arguing with – so try to avoid at all costs – but if they do arise then seek advice quickly! Establish who owns what, and who has responsibility for what.

You can trim the overhanging branches from your neighbour if they are overhanging on your land.  But, remember to offer them back the branches that you have snipped off – they are not yours to keep! Particularly if they have fruit growing on them – those apples and pears are theirs!

Finally, a serious warning about Japanese Knotweed. This shrub has an invasive root system that can destroy buildings and would put any buyer off from purchasing your property so never ever look to plant it and always look to remove yourself of it at the first sign.   It is so deathly to the structure of property that some local authorities actually fine or prosecute if it is identified, and you will always be asked within a conveyancing transaction if your garden has suffered from it.

Just a few tips as the gardening season begins in Leigh on sea.

This article is by Melinda Giles at Giles Wilson Solicitors.  
For legal advice please call 01702 477 106 or visit one of Giles Wilson's offices: 1711 London Road Leigh, 54 Leigh Broadway, 5 Roche Close Rochford  
Website: www.gileswilson.co.uk

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If you would like to put forward a question to Melinda, please comment below or email joanna@leigh-on-sea.com


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