Victory for Northampton residents who have lived in fear of 'monstrous' trees for two years after one nearly crushed a home

The teetering line of 100ft-tall Black Ash Trees have been a constant worry for homeowners - but now they will be cut back.

Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 5:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 1:28 pm
Residents in Crabb Tree Drive have been asking for the council to cut back a line of hazardous trees ever since one fell in 2018.

A Northampton residents' group is celebrating after winning the fight to have a line of 'monstrous' 100-ft tall trees cut back before they fall on their homes.

No one living on Crabb Tree Drive, Southfields, disagrees that the towering line of Black Ash Trees are a beautiful sight for the neighbourhood.

But they aren't worth losing a home or a life over - especially after one came crashing to earth and narrowly missed two houses in 2018.

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The line of trees behind houses in Crabb Tree Drive are over 100ft tall.

Now, after a two year battle by the Southfields Residents' Association, the borough council has agreed to cut back the hazardous trees before another one falls.

Residents Roger and Hilary Farmer told the Chronicle & Echo how the danger became apparent two years ago when one of the trees collapsed and only narrowly missed their home.

Roger, who worked in horticulture for 20 years, said: "If I had been outside I wouldn't be here.

"They are the wrong tree to have this close to properties. Everyday since we've all been checking the weather to see which way the wind blows. We don't go out when it's windy, even because of falling branches."

"We can't well even let one any children play in the garden in case something happens."

It has led to a two-year-long effort by ward councillor Janice Duffy and the Southfields Residents' Association to ask the council to act.

Councillor Duffy told the Chron: "People have been living in fear. The trees have grown so tall, they're truly monstrous. Falling branches have smashed greenhouses, or landed right by residents in their gardens."

Now, the council has pledged to cut back the trees sometime between October and March following an appearance by cabinet member for environment Mike Hallam at an association meeting.

Roger said: "We're elated. We're all really grateful that something will be done."

Councillor Duffy said: "It's tremendous news. I think residents will be so relieved."

A council spokesman said: "We undertake regular inspections of trees across the borough and as part of these inspections the trees were categorised as needing to be removed, in line with our tree policy."