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Charity wins compensation for tree root damage to house

A charity has won compensation after tree roots damaged one of its houses.

The issue arose after staff saw cracks appearing in the walls. The charity sought permission for a tree in a neighbouring property to be felled to prevent its roots causing further subsidence.

The local authority refused. The charity then claimed for the costs of underpinning to prevent further damage. The matter had to go to court to decide whether the need for underpinning arose as a result of the refusal to grant permission to fell the tree.

The authority argued that the charity had failed to take reasonable steps to avert or mitigate the extent of the damage.

The court found in favour of the charity. It held that the damage had been caused by the tree and that the authority should have known there was a real risk of further subsidence when it refused permission for the tree to be felled.

The court also held that the charity had not failed to mitigate its loss and so the authority was liable to pay compensation.

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