Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

[Pounds Sterling]150k for House Damage by Tree 30 Yards Away

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

[Pounds Sterling]150k for House Damage by Tree 30 Yards Away

Article excerpt

Byline: Miranda Bryant

A COUNCIL will have to pay more than [pounds sterling]150,000 damages after a poplar tree in one of its parks caused subsidence damage to a home 33 yards away.

Josephine Robbins's Thirties-built home in Welling, Kent, began to suffer cracking in 2003 and she pointed the finger at a mature hybrid black poplar in nearby Danson Park.

The cracks in the extension at the back of the house got worse over the next few years until the summer of 2007, when increased rainfall and heavy pruning of the poplar's canopy reduced the problem.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart today ruled that the subsidence damage caused by the tree should have been foreseen by the London Borough of Bexley and ordered it to pay Mrs Robbins more than [pounds sterling]150,000 damages, including [pounds sterling]3,000 for her "distress and inconvenience".

In a ruling running to more than 170 paragraphs, and after hearing a welter of expert evidence, the judge said roots of hybrid black poplars can extend up to 38 yards and accepted that the tree was the "major contributor" to the damage to Mrs Robbins's home. …

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