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Ditches and TPO

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Ditches and TPO

Postby hazelnuts » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:32 am

We have recently bought a woodland which has been neglected for at least fifty years.
A ditch runs through it which is classified as an "ordinary watercourse"
This ditch drains the surface water from a substantial part of the local common plus the adjoining highway and two residential roads.
It runs from the adjoining highway to the river about one kilometre away entirely within our woodland.
The ditch had not been cleared properly for many years with the result that the outlet from the highway was silted up and the rest of the ditch was full of leaves etc. causing the water to flood the land.
Under Section 25 of the Land Drainage Act 1991 we are legally obliged to keep this ditch free from all obstructions otherwise the County Council can take action against us and send in their own contractors to carry out the work and invoice us for their trouble.
During clearing the ditch I found two substantial roots from an oak tree which is on my neighbour's land; these were completely blocking the ditch from top to bottom.
I cut these roots out completely and then my neighbour appeared and informed me the tree had a TPO on it.
He indicated that he was going to inform the TPO officer so I did that myself and received a visit this week and will eventually hear what they decide to do about it.
My point is that I am clearly caught between two contradictory laws - either clear the ditch and fall foul of the TPO or leave the ditch blocked and be penalised by the Land Drainage Act.
Re-routing the ditch is not an option in this case at it would affect another TPO tree.
Your thoughts on this problem would be appreciated.
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Re: Ditches and TPO

Postby The Barrowers » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:42 am


Hope TPO officer is sympathetic

Cutting 2 roots may not affect the Oak
B and T
The Barrowers
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Re: Ditches and TPO

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:38 am

I would hope you can argue out the fact, that the roots were not yours, and you removed them from your property and gave them back, the same as you would with branches hanging over a garden fence.
surely you can point out that without you clearing the ditch, water floods areas,and more trees are lost, if all else fails, dig a big hole in the middle of your woods, around 6x2 and remove those items giving you hassle :D
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Re: Ditches and TPO

Postby wrekin » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:31 pm

The Town and Country Planning Act (1990) section 198(6)(b) explicitly says that TPOs do not apply to work required by other acts of parliament. So it looks as if your drainage duty wins, and you did not need to contact the LPA. - Woods, huts, cabins, sheds, forestry
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Re: Ditches and TPO

Postby hazelnuts » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:49 pm

Thanks for the replies
Wrekin, I think that might be a positive point in my favour.
I shall investigate further.
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Re: Ditches and TPO

Postby Terry » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:54 pm

you say you have removed the roots, so no problem :lol:
Other than that, what wrekin said
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