Safety fears after branch falls from tree

Branches from a tree fell outside a house on C Court, in Ashton-in-Makerfield, and residents want something done about the tree
Branches from a tree fell outside a house on C Court, in Ashton-in-Makerfield, and residents want something done about the tree

Concerned residents are calling for action to be taken after a large branch fell from a tree outside their homes.

One family is even considering moving house because they are so worried something serious could happen.

The branch landed outside their neighbour’s house on C Court, in Ashton, at around 8.30am on Tuesday.

Lynn Helsby, who has lived on C Court with her husband and daughter since September, said: “The tree is so big and the majority of the tree is overhanging the little court that we live in.

“There’s nowhere else to park. We are parking under this tree on a daily basis and have to walk under the tree to get to our houses.”

The tree is in the grounds of nearby St Thomas’ Church and people living nearby believe parts of it are dead.

Mrs Helsby, 52, says while some maintenance work has been done recently, there are restrictions about what can be done.

She added: “We’re trying to find somewhere else to move because we don’t feel safe. It’s causing us a lot of problems.”

The branch landed outside her neighbour Pauline Allen’s house.

Mrs Allen, 59, said: “If that had happened on Saturday there would have been four of us stood exactly where it fell, including my little grandson.

“Having had a look at the tree again we have decided there are still quite a few branches that look dead, so they will also fall off.

“It’s a health hazard. I’m extremely concerned.”

A spokesman from St Thomas’ parochial church council, said they were complying with conservation rules.

He added: “St Thomas’ Church are legally bound to comply with conservation area guidance regarding the trees in our churchyard.”

“Since our neighbour’s concerns were first raised with us we have worked closely with them, doing all we can as a church, under professional advice from the council and tree surgeon.

“We are keen to continue to support our neighbours and work with our council in order to best maintain the trees in our churchyard.”

Mike Worden, assistant director for planning and transport at Wigan Council, added: “Mature trees within conservation areas are automatically protected.

“When a tree is in a conservation area a person must notify the council of any work they wish to do in writing, the council has a duty to protect trees and we will provide advice. We have assessed this tree and it is not dangerous. There is no need to notify the authority of the removal of dead branches and we aren’t stopping this.”