Agenda and draft minutes

Select Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 7th January 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873439 

Items
No. Item

26.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 24 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2019 be approved.

27.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

28.

Call In of Decision - Shearwater Trees pdf icon PDF 584 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reported that a request for Call In of an Executive Portfolio Holder decision made on 23 October 2019 had been received.

 

The decision followed the consideration of options to determine an appropriate course of action in response to complaints from a resident relating to trees damaging his garden wall between their property on Shearwater Close and Hartsholme Country Park. The decision taken by Councillor Bob Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place, was to retain the trees and repair the wall, reshaping it marginally into the neighbour’s garden so as to safeguard the trees and provide a reasonable solution.

 

The Chair invited Councillor Ron Hills as lead signatory to the Call In to address the Committee and explain the reasons for the Call In. Referring to the Call In request form, as appended to the report, Councillor Hills made the following points in explaining his reasons for Call In:

 

·         this matter represented a long standing complaint for nearly twenty years between the resident and the Council;

·         the health of the trees had never been in question, however, the damage caused to the resident’s wall was the grounds for asking for work to be done;

·         a very large pine tree was in physical contact with the resident’s wall and had been for a considerable period. It was this tree which appeared to be the cause of the majority of damage to the wall, causing a number of cracks and bricks to fall off. This tree was also leaning inwards towards the property and it was feasible that the wall itself was holding up or supporting the tree from falling. A second large tree was also in contact with the wall, albeit not as significantly as the above tree and a third tree was located in a junction between the resident’s wall and his neighbour’s wall which was now touching both walls;

·         originally complaints were made by the resident and his neighbour and as a result the neighbour’s wall had been rebuilt away from the trees;

·         previous work had been carried out by the Council to the wall because of its accepted responsibility, which included:

-       cosmetic repairs in 2000;

-       insertion of heli-fix bars to bond the walls, repointing and installation of lintels to protect roots in 2011;

-       removal of pillars due to further fracturing and risk of falling, together with temporary replacement with wooden panels pending a permanent solution agreeable to both parties.

·         throughout the above works the trees and wall had been and continued to be monitored regularly by the Council’s Arboriculture Officer and other structural specialists;

·         several meetings had taken place between Council officers and the resident which culminated in a technical specification report for brickwork wall remedial works at Hartsholme Country Park and properties on Shearwater Close being produced. A copy of this document was appended to the report. The work identified in the technical specification report included the felling of three trees currently in contact with the resident’s wall and the rebuilding of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.