A historic tree which has stood next to a Grade II-listed building for more than 100 years has been saved from the chop.
The mature copper beech was believed to be causing subsidence damage to a site in Ashford earlier this year.
The tree is estimated to be between 120-150 years old and lies just nine metres from Repton Manor, which is more than 400 years old and has sections dating from the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Ashford Borough Council (ABC) submitted plans to chop the tree down, but it is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
The decision to get rid of the tree came after a report by MWA Arboriculture Limited - commissioned by the building's owner in 2018 - which found the historic manor had subsidence issues and extensive cracks in the walls.
This persuaded resident Phil Hubbard to start a petition to save the tree. He was delighted to hear the copper beech has been spared the axe.
"I started the petition to gauge the views of other residents," he said.
"Anyone I spoke to about it was shocked to hear the council was thinking of cutting it down.
"It's good to see lots have the same views as myself and agreed the tree should be saved.
"I'm pleased the council took it seriously and took what was maybe the most difficult option, but one that ultimately saves the tree.
"I thought they might take the easy option just to get rid of it, but it's good to see they are trying to save it."
The cause of the damage to Repton Manor was put down to the tree's roots drawing water from the soil, so the company recommended the tree should be removed.
But, a significant number of objections against this were received, along with the petition Mr Hubbard started, which had the support of over 370 signatories.
After hearing about the application to cut the tree down and replant up to three Scots pine trees in February this year, the planning committee voted to defer any decision subject to the investigation of alternative action.
Eight months later, it has been confirmed the tree will stay put and ABC will instead install a root barrier in a bid to protect the manor.
The crown of the tree will also need to be reduced by up to two metres in order to mitigate the effects of the root loss and ensure the tree remains healthy.
'It is important that we try to protect our natural heritage...'
Further maintenance of the soft grass verge beneath the tree canopy will also be needed to provide the best conditions for the tree to thrive.
Cllr Matthew Forest - portfolio holder for environment, property and recreation - says he is pleased an alternative has been found so the tree can stay.
"It is important that we try to protect not just our historic buildings but our natural heritage, which are both highly valued by residents as local landmarks," he said.
"The installation of a root barrier will enable this beautiful and important tree to remain an integral part of the landscape of Repton Park.”
Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con), ward member for Repton says he is delighted an amicable solution has finally been found and this magnificent tree has been preserved.
He said: “After listening to the concerns of residents and meeting the owners of Repton Manor I made representations to the planning committee to plead for the preservation of this historic landmark tree."