We will not prune or fell a tree just because it is considered too big and/or tall for its surroundings.
The law courts have previously determined that a leaf or fruit is no longer considered the responsibility of the tree owner once it falls from a tree. This is because it is ‘incidental to nature’ and part of a seasonal inconvenience shared by many property occupiers.
We are not legally obliged to remove fallen leaves or debris from trees such as cones, seeds or blossoms. These are part of the biodiversity and amenity value of trees. It would also be extremely unlikely for WSCC to fell a tree for these reasons.
Street cleansing is the responsibility of the district and borough councils. You should contact them if there is a problem area that needs to be cleared.
It is not unreasonable for a resident to clear fallen leaves or fruit from their own property as part of routine seasonal maintenance. This is regardless of whether they originated from their own or somebody else’s tree.
If you believe a WSCC-owned tree is causing damage to your property, contact your property insurance provider. They should carry out an investigation and manage any subsequent claim on your behalf.
If your insurer feels a claim is valid they will contact WSCC for the process to begin.
West Sussex Highways do not fell trees because of blocked drains as a more satisfactory and permanent engineering solution is available. Tree root ingress into drains is common and has been extensively researched. All the evidence suggests that roots will only penetrate drains that have an existing fault.
Drainage problems generally occur with old clay pipes. These can degrade and leak from the joints, allowing roots to infiltrate and then proliferate to block the pipe. Replacing these with modern jointless plastic pipes will permanently resolve these problems.
If you suspect a drain is blocked because of a tree, please contact your property insurer. They should undertake investigations and arrange repairs on your behalf.
If a tree is blocking a proposed dropped kerb (vehicle crossover) area, the tree will be inspected by a WSCC arboriculturist to see if it is healthy and offering good amenity value and longevity.
If this is the case, we may refuse an application for a dropped kerb licence.
WSCC will not prune or fell a tree, or group of trees that we own or manage, to improve the view from private property.
We would only consider this in rare and exceptional circumstances, as there is no ‘right to light’ from tree obstruction in English law.
We will not prune or fell any tree that we own or manage to enable or ease installation or improve reception of satellite or television receivers.
It maybe that your satellite or TV provider will be able to suggest an alternative solution to the problem. However, we will not reimburse costs associated with relocating a TV aerial or satellite dish.