Man wins battle with Wakefield Council to remove 'unattractive' Christmas tree

A homeowner has won a battle with his local council to remove a huge decades-old Christmas tree from his front garden.

Paul Gilbert wanted to cut down the tree, which he described as "not attractive" and said was causing structural damage to his house in the West Yorkshire village of Woolley.

Wakefield Council put a temporary ban on the tree being axed in August, arguing it was in "good health" and carried a "significant level of public amenity".

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But their efforts to make a permanent order to protect it have failed.

The tree, pictured by Google Maps in 2011.

The tree is thought to have been planted by a previous owner of the home in the 1980s.

Speaking to the council's planning committee meeting on Thursday, Mr Gilbert said surveys on the property, which he bought a year ago, warned the tree was "too close to the house" because of its size.

He said: "It's not an important native species with importance to the local area.

"There are signs of damage (to the house) already. It's also causing damage to the driveway.

"The tree is not attractive and comments from neighbours and visitors to our home support this view."

Mr Gilbert and his neighbours were among 13 objectors to the council's tree preservation order (TPO), which received no written support from anyone.

Committee member, Councillor Elaine Blezard said: "I'm a big tree lover. I like trees, but I like them in the right place.

"I don't think we should put a TPO on this. I think it should be taken away.

"It's a detriment to the neighbours there and it's only going to get bigger and bigger.

"I don't think it's in the right place."

Councillors voted unanimously against making a permanent order.

However, Mr Gilbert was told he would have to wait until February, when the temporary TPO expires, before removing the tree.

It means it will remain standing for Christmas.

Local Democracy Reporting Service