Tree horror: Council "gambled with my family's life"

Two goliath 70-foot trees have collapsed in a Reedley man's garden, leading him to accuse the council - who forbade him from cutting them down - of putting his family in danger.

Wednesday, 8th February 2017, 2:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:48 pm
Kamran Chaudhary (36) next to the two felled trees.

Kamran Chaudhary (36) has denounced Burnley Council of negligence after he expressed fears over the danger posed by the two beech trees, only to be told that they were protected by preservation orders as they complemented the area.

Despite the IT contractor having sought an expert opinion and been told that the trees were dying and dangerous, he was informed that he could not cut them down, even when they began to lean.

“It was like a big bang and a scrape; it woke us up,” said Kamran, who lives on nearby Patterdale Close and owns the property in question, but rents it to his brother’s family.

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“It wasn’t until the next morning when my brother texted me that we realised,” he added. “I think the council has misjudged the safety of these trees immensely.

“They could have killed someone,” said Kamran after the incident, which saw one of the trees destroy his nephew’s swing and the other block a public footpath.

“I think they have gambled with my family’s life. They could’ve fallen at any moment; when they did, you could see how rotten the roots were.”

Trish Ellis, who sits on Burnley Council’s Development Control Committee, said: “We must do everything we can to help and closely monitor the situation.”

A statement from Burnley Council read: “The council has acted on expert advice throughout this matter. We are checking land ownership and reviewing the application and consultant’s report that was submitted, and the Tree Preservation Order decision.”

But Mr Chaudhary, who has paid for a tree surgeon to remove the debris, said: “You have got to be 100% sure when you make decisions like this because this is people’s safety we are talking about.”