• Sunday, January 29, 2023

HEADLINE STORY

Waterthorpe neighbours ‘still at war’ over chopped fir tree

By: Pramod Thomas

Two neighbours at Waterthorpe are still at war three years after a fir tree was chopped in half, according to a report.

Bharat Mistry and his family were ‘distraught’ when their neighbour Graham and Irene Lee, both in their 70s, called in tree surgeons last year to cut half the branches of the 16foot tall fir tree.

The families, who were friends earlier, have not patched things up after the incident, the MailOnline reported quoting neighbours on their street.

A local woman told the newspaper that the families ‘couldn’t resolve’ the issue even after two years. Her husband said that they were ‘friendly before’.

According to reports, the tree was chopped in half by the Lees who were unhappy with bird droppings onto their yard. Lee reportedly hired a tree surgeon to cut half of the tree down.

Mistry previously alleged that their neighbours had complained birds in the tree were making too much noise and making a mess of the drive of his bungalow in Brier Close.

Mistry agreed that their neighbours had a right to take action on anything overhanging onto their property at that time.

But the way it was done ‘after years of living together on the same street’, he said, has hurt him.

“We pleaded and pleaded with them not to do it, but their mind was made up. That tree was coming down. I believe he has the right to cut down anything that is overhanging onto his property,” he was quoted as saying by media reports in 2021.

“But you have to ask, why after 25 years would you do that? It must have been no more than 3feet onto his land. It is above head height, the bottom of the branches start at about 8feet high and we have cut off the branches lower down to be amiable with them.”

After being anonymously given to Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 TV show and being turned into memes on social media, images of the cut tree became viral in 2021.

Locals even started visiting the street only to admire the tree, turning it into a tourist destination, the MailOnline report added.

In an earlier statement, Irene Lee claimed that birds weren’t really the problem, but the tree was blocking their driveway.

“What you can see at the moment is a third of what the tree was – we had two thirds of it hanging over on our side. We got it professionally trimmed, afterwards the tree surgeon told me “you know it’s going to grow back?,” she is reported to have said.

The Lees previously threatened to cut it down again if it did grow back.

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