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Kent County Council apology after tree being cut down by contractors falls onto house near Faversham

A retired teacher watched open-mouthed as a 35ft tree being chopped down by the council fell onto his house.

Mike Stygal was observing the contractors at work when the trunk of the conifer split, sending it flying into the roof of the semi in Staplestreet Road, Goodnestone.

Mike Stygal outside his home with the fallen tree
Mike Stygal outside his home with the fallen tree

Mr Stygal was outside the property at the time, but his wife, Julie James, was in the living room.

"To be fair, the workmen were mortified and I did feel for them," he said.

"Obviously, it got out of hand and is not how they planned it at all.

"I said to the guy wielding the chainsaw, 'I bet you didn't wake up this morning expecting to drop a tree onto a house'.

"It seems there was some rot in the middle of tree trunk which wasn't evident.

"They appeared to be doing it right, with wedges to direct the tree onto the road, but it just split."

Mrs James says she heard a crunching noise at the time of the incident.

"It was clear something had gone very wrong, but our windows are still intact and we are hoping the damage is limited to broken tiles," she said.

The power to the property had to be turned off while contractors made arrangements to winch the tree off the property with a crane.

Mr Stygal added: "It was obviously a very unfortunate accident, but no one was hurt and they are being very good about making sure everything on our property is fixed."

The tree was being cut down yesterday as it obscured the sight lines to a slip-road onto a new housing development.

A Kent County Council spokesman said: "During the course of a routine tree removal at Staplestreet, the stem of a conifer split into two.

"Despite our best efforts to prevent the stem falling, it came to rest on an adjacent house. Thankfully no one was hurt.

"Tree felling can sometimes be difficult to predict, despite our best intentions, and we will be looking at this incident to see what we can learn to ensure that it does not happen again.

"We apologise and thank residents for their patience and understanding in this matter."

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