Northampton cul-de-sac terrorised by 20ft falling ‘twigs’

Karen Crook stands by a recent branch to have fallen from the tall lime trees next to Coverack Close.
Karen Crook stands by a recent branch to have fallen from the tall lime trees next to Coverack Close.
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Neighbours plagued by 20ft falling “twigs” in Northampton say they are desperate to see the council cut back a row of troublesome trees.

The 50ft tall Lime trees lining the edge of Towcester Road Cemetery have been causing problems for the residents of Coverack Close in Delapre for the past decade.

The 50ft tall lime trees at Towcester Cemetery tower over the Coverack Close residents.

The 50ft tall lime trees at Towcester Cemetery tower over the Coverack Close residents.

But in the recent high winds, residents there say they have been bombarded by falling branches - one of them as long as 20ft.

Despite what the residents there claim are repeated attempts to get them cut back significantly, Northampton Borough Council is yet to take action.

Self-employed Karen Crook, whose house is metres away from the back of the cemetery said: “It’s dangerous out there, because that big branch could have hit anyone. They could have been seriously hurt or worse.

“We have these trees hanging all over the house and bits are falling off all the time.

“One of the branches broke a plant pot of mine- imagine if that had hit my head.

“I have had tiles broken because of falling debris.”

“That’s the trouble with lime trees,” she said “they just break off, it’s scary.”

Mrs Crook say her daughter is afraid to go outside in the high winds and says neighbours rush into their homes at night to avoid any falling debris.

Labour Councillor Julie Davenport (Lab, Delapre and Briar Hill) has taken up the issue on behalf of Coverack Close.

But she claims an environmental services officer at the council told her little could be done because “twigs are bound to fall.”

Councillor Davenport has since asked the council’s cabinet member for environment to clarify what the council’s definition of a “twig” is.

But builder Nick Crook, 59, said the council have had to pay out in excess of £5,000 in insurance claims to rectify problems at his property when roots from the problem trees even started to cause cracks in the side of his house.

When he and Karen moved there 30 years ago the trees were only the height of their house - but now they tower at almost two times the height, with low hanging branches.

Mr Crook said: “Why don’t they just come and cut them right back? It would save them so much money in the long run.”

Northampton Borough Council has been contacted for comment.