Owners are responsible for trees / vegetation etc growing on their property and have a duty to keep these cut so that they do not obstruct the use of the highway. Usually trees, hedges, vegetation etc are maintained to an acceptable standard. However, occasionally landowners have to be reminded of their obligations and we have powers under Section 154 of the Highways Act 1980 to give notice to carry out maintenance works on trees and other vegetation which have been allowed to grow and overhang and can affect the safety of the highway. Property owners will be given sufficient time to carry out remedial work before being served with a formal notice. Co-operation is always sought first before resorting to legal action.
Footways - 2.1 metres. There should also be sufficient width to allow the safe passage of pedestrians, pushchairs, wheelchairs i.e. cut to a line within the properties boundary.
Roads - unless there is a Traffic Order in force restricting the size or height of vehicles that can use a particular road, 5.2 metres height clearance shall be maintained to allow sufficient clearance for vehicles which might ordinarily be expected to use the road to gain access.
Dead or Dying Trees
The Council has a responsibility to keep highways open and remove possible dangers such as dead or dying trees. If the landowner fails to take action, in appropriate circumstances the Council may remove the tree and recover the associated costs.
There are certain locations where trees are within the public walkway, which may be maintained by another service of the council. Regular inspections of trees will reduce the liability for accidents. Information as to whether a tree or trees are protected by Law i.e. Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) can be obtained from the Council's Regulatory Services, Civic Offices, Colwyn Bay.
We deal with:
- broken, hanging, fallen and low branches
- trees that have fallen or collapsed
- trees that are obstructing the highway or footpath for normal use
- trees that obscure sight lines at road junctions
- trees that obstruct street lights, pedestrian crossings or highway road signs
- damage caused by high winds or vehicle impacts only to trees owned by CCBC or where there is an immediate threat to safety
There are a number of tree related problems that we are not obliged to deal with. These include:
- reducing shading by trees of adjacent land or dwellings
- clearing branches encroaching on overhead utility wires and cables
- reducing the height of a tree, unless a tree specialist regards its height as hazardous
- carrying out work on trees because they may be interfering with television or radio signals
- collecting fallen leaves and similar deposits including sap, blossom, catkins, fruit, nuts, berries and cones
- Pruning Trees for view
Under the Highways Act 1980, we may ask you to cut back any hedges that come through onto the highway. In line with the 'Code of Good Practice for Highway Maintenance', and the increasing environment concerns for nesting birds and other small mammals breeding in hedges, we are asking you to trim your hedges during autumn and winter. During spring and summer, we may also ask you to trim your hedges if they are a danger to highway users.
When you cut your hedges you must make sure that you immediately remove any cuttings which fall onto a road or footpath. Hedge cuttings left on roads are dangerous as people may be injured and cyclists can be left stranded if thorns are in the cuttings and these puncture their tyres. You must also remove any cuttings which fall into roadside ditches, drainage grips and road gullies.
Under section 149 of the Highways Act 1980, if you do not remove the cuttings we may do this and charge you.