£1m tree damage move

The Law Lords are to hear an appeal in a test case which left Westminster City Council facing the prospect of a £1m bill for tree root damage. It was alleged in the case of Delaware Mansions & anor v Lord Mayor and Citizens of City of Westminster that the damage could have been avoided had the council cut down the tree and repaired minor cracks at a cost of £14,000 when residents originally complained. Instead the council let the 80-year-old tree stay. In the end its roots caused damage and underpinning was required. Last July the Court of Appeal ruled that the council was liable for the £835,430 cost of repairing the damage, which with interest and legal costs would have left the council with a bill of more than £1m. Now the council has been given leave by Lords Nicholls, Clyde and Hobhouse to appeal against that decision in the House of Lords.