Next-door neighbours in Worsthorne are furious after a huge branch from an ancient tree toppled over – less than a year after they were refused permission to cut it down.
The branch of the tree, in the back garden of Mrs Kim Fagan and her husband Patrick’s house, crashed through their fence and into the garden of next-door neighbour Rebecca Whittingham on Tuesday lunchtime.
Social worker Rebecca, who has a seven-year-old son Cayden, was at home in Wallstreams Court when the drama occurred.
She said: “I was having some lunch when I heard this huge crash. I looked out of the back and couldn’t believe the sight outside.
“This huge branch had come through the fence from next door and landed on top of the other next door’s extension roof.
“I dread to think what would have happened if Cayden had been playing outside. It wasn’t even particularly windy.”
Rebecca, who lives in the house with Cayden and partner Scott Gilchrist, said they rent the house from a private landlord.
He had asked permission to chop the tree down when the houses were built two years ago, but was refused by Burnley Borough Council because it was protected by a tree preservation order.
Next-door neighbour Kim Fagan said: “It’s ridiculous. I was pegging washing out right in front of the tree just the day before.
“The council said around a year ago we could only trim the tree by 25% at the most. Now, a council official has said the whole tree will have to come down, but it will be a big job because the tree is huge and very close to the house.”
Mike Cook, Burnley Council’s director economic regeneration said: “The council has not received any application to remove this tree, which is protected by a Tree Preservation Order. An application was made by the owner in 2013 for crown thinning and crown reduction works and consent was granted for these works. The council’s Tree Officer inspected the tree at that time and advised that the tree was in a poor condition and should be monitored for further deterioration. The responsibility for the safety of the tree clearly lies with the owner of the land.”