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Bid to protect lime tree leaves sour taste for neighbour

PUBLISHED: 11:33 05 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:52 05 January 2019

Jacqueline Barnes, with the lime tree she feels should be pollarded or cut down. Picture: Archant

Jacqueline Barnes, with the lime tree she feels should be pollarded or cut down. Picture: Archant

Archant

A new grandmother has found a bid to protect a lime tree overshadowing her garden a bitter pill to swallow.

The lime tree in the garden of NILE on Upper St Giles Street in Norwich. Picture: ArchantThe lime tree in the garden of NILE on Upper St Giles Street in Norwich. Picture: Archant

Jacqueline Barnes, a property developer of Hindolveston, near Fakenham, also owns a home on Upper St Giles Street in Norwich, next door to the Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE).

She says the school is a good neighbour, but a 15m tall lime tree in its garden has left a sour taste.

Mrs Barnes, 55, who has owned the grade two listed building for 10 years, said her problems with the tree were two-fold.

She said: “When the leaves fall they are covered in an odd black substance which turns my garden into an ice rink.

“It also leans towards my garden, so were there ever to be strong enough winds to bring it down it would fall directly onto my house.”

It is the second tree Mrs Barnes has had difficulty with in the school’s garden, having previously seen a neighbouring sycamore overhang her boundary.

The school agreed to cut it down to size and successfully applied to Norwich City Council to pollard it - a task that has now been completed.

However, when the school applied to do similar works to the lime tree, the council’s arboricultural officer instead felt a tree preservation order (TPO) should be placed on it.

Mrs Barnes said: “It seems a simple thing - if it was fine to pollard the sycamore, why not the lime tree? Ideally, I would like the whole thing to come down, but pollarding it would be fine.”

However, Matt Dunthorne, the arboricultural officer, said the proposed works - to reduce the tree to 10m in height and half its width to 3m - would devalue it.

His report also said that no defects were found with the tree to suggest it was vulnerable to strong winds and that the substance was likely a condition called ‘sooty mould’, which has no significance on its health.

Andy Dyble, NILE facilities manager said: “We are keen to be conscientious towards our neighbours, so are always happy to co-operate with them but whatever the council decides is fine with me.”

Members of City Hall’s planning committee will decide whether to bring in the TPO on Thursday.

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