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Home   Medway   News   Article

Mum Heidi Brett living with tree on Walderslade home after neighbour's leylandii fell on it

09 February 2014
by Clare Freeman

The misery started for Ms Brett, 35, on Christmas Eve when a 50ft leylandii was blown down in strong winds, taking two other trees with it.

It fell diagonally, through her neighbour Geoff Blackman’s fence and onto the two terraced houses, blocking the windows of the upper floors.

In one room the lintel is breaking, cracks are appearing and there are signs of leaks

In one room the lintel is breaking, cracks are appearing and there are signs of leaks

As a safety precaution Ms Brett has switched off the electricity to the top two floors of her house in Harptree Drive, Walderslade.

Every time it rains, water is coming through the ceiling and running down the walls. The joists in the roof are soaked and cracks are appearing in the ceilings and walls.

The trees formed part of a high hedge belonging to the Stennings who live in a bungalow on King George Road.

Residents claim the high hedge has been causing issues for many years.

A neighbour's tree fell on Heidi Brett's house before Christmas

A neighbour's tree fell on Heidi Brett's house before Christmas

Mr Blackman said he sent a letter to the Stennings in 2008, outlining his fears about what could happen to the trees in strong winds.

Ms Brett said that when they moved into the property in 2011 her son had pointed out the trees and said: “Those trees are really tall! What will we do if they fall?”

At the time, Heidi said she laughed it off: “It’s one of those things that you think will never happen to you.”

The bitter row between the neighbours about whose insurance company should foot the bill has finally been resolved. The cost of removing the tree is to be split three ways between the insurance companies involved.

Walderslade resident Heidi Brett with the fallen tree

Walderslade resident Heidi Brett with the fallen tree

The leylandii tree fell in Walderslade in strong winds

The leylandii tree fell in Walderslade in strong winds

But a crane is needed to remove the tree and the road will need to be closed while the work is carried out.

Ian Martin, of Martin’s Insurance, Rochester, has been handling the case for Spencer Thain, Ms Brett’s landlord.

He explained there has been a lot to organise and that the weather has not helped.

Mr Martin said: “We’ve got someone who’s going to remove the trees. We should have a date for removal by the end of the week.”

Once the date has been set, permission must be sought from Medway Council to close the road.

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