Council made to pay £35,000 for subsidence works after insisting on retaining TPO tree

A retired Derby couple has been awarded £38,000 payout after the city council refused to allow an 18m-high cedar tree blamed for causing subsidence in their house to be removed.

Both Bill and Mary Nicholson and their neighbours first sought to have the tree cut down a decade ago but Derby City Council did not agree to lift the tree preservation order (TPO) on the tree, which stands in the neighbours' garden around 4m from the Nicholsons' £400,000 semi-detached home.

The couple's insurers paid the roughly £35,000 cost of underpinning the house, which has now been reclaimed from the council following legal action, as well as a further £3,000 for the couple's "stress and inconvenience".

Anna Madichie, a solicitor for Plexus Law, said: "Mr Nicholson's insurers were forced to do extensive work on the property, on the basis that the tree would stay in situ."

She added: "The planning inspectorate which dealt with it said it did not believe it was 100 per cent conclusive that the tree was causing subsidence, but seemed to confirm it was possible."

Derby City Council has refused to comment before the settlement is formally authorised.

Mrs Nicholson told the Daily Mail: "We know the council and the lawyers for our insurance company have reached a settlement, but we still don't know if the tree will stay put or come down."

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