Caravan park in centre of huge row as cutting back overhanging trees to cost hundreds

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Mortonhall Caravan & Camping Park, located in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, has defended its approach to the overhanging trees that Gill Henderson, of Alnwickhill Court claim infiltrate her garden.

Ms Henderson claims the bosses from the caravan park have refused to pay to maintain branches overhanging a boundary wall at the back of her garden which borders the tourist site.

She claims the trees are “unsafe” in their current condition, and that in previous years fallen branches have ripped through an outdoor sail shade and damaged a chiminea in her garden.

For pruning the trees, a recent quote acquired by Ms Henderson said the work would cost £350 plus VAT, something she says she can not afford.

In an interview with the Edinburgh Evening News, she said: “Why should neighbours have to pay to maintain trees owned by someone else?

“It’s been an ongoing issue since about 2014. I am an environmentalist and love the trees and wildlife but I want the trees to be safe. They are huge trees and I don’t want them coming down. I just want the overhanging trees cut back so that it’s not dangerous”.

Andy Wallis, general manager at Mortonhall Caravan & Camping Park: “As neighbours we have indicated to Ms Henderson that we would have no objection to her carrying out pruning and limbing on overhanging branches as she may believe necessary.

“It might be worth noting that many property owners in the UK have trees overhanging their gardens from adjacent land, and the usual practice by those property owners is to regularly trim the overhanging canopy – or to arrange for this to be carried out – so that it doesn’t present a nuisance”.

When first raising the concerns, Ms Henderson who runs a dog walking business and also volunteers for a UK-wide dog rescue group, had an elderly dog that used the garden frequently.

She was concerned about the effect the branches would have on the dog: “I was worried about her going out in the garden and a branch landing on her”.

And Ms Henderson claims, after speaking to a tree surgeon previously sub-contracted by the caravan park, she was informed the trees had some squirrel damage and broken and diseased limbs.

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The caravan park owners dismissed these claims in a letter sent to the resident stating the tree surgeon was developing business through “informal networking”. They advised that tree safety is carried out by those qualified in surveying trees.

Mr Wallis, said the surveyor had paid “heightened attention” when conducting checks on the trees due to the concern the resident had expressed. He also said the condition of the trees is reviewed regularly as part of a risk management strategy.

The trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), so any pruning work carried out must abide by this.

Another dispute regarding the trees was made previously by Hugh Stewart, whose garden also borders the caravan park.

The resident said he was forced to pay £600 for someone to cut back the trees due to safety concerns about two years ago because “the caravan park refused to do so”.

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