United Kingdom

Anger over plans to chop down a 600-year-old tree... because it is damaging 20-year-old house 

Anger has flared over plans to cut down a 600-year-old oak tree because its roots are damaging a house built 20 years ago.

The 50ft tree, the last remaining from an ancient wood that stood near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, has been blamed for cracks in the home. 

Peterborough City Council revoked a preservation order and ruled that the oak can be chopped down. 

But contractors were blocked from felling it last month after local resident Richard Elmer stood beside its trunk to protect it.

Anger has flared over plans to cut down a 600-year-old oak tree because its roots are damaging a house built 20 years ago. The 50ft tree, the last remaining from an ancient wood that stood near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, has been blamed for cracks in the home

Mr Elmer, 64, who has collected 800 signatures on a petition, said: 'It is a magnificent tree that has survived for over 600 years. 

'It's survived everything from Henry VIII's mass deforestation to make his ships and I've been told by experts that, if left alone, it would easily survive another 600 years. 

'We truly believe that this tree is a special case and should be saved for future generations to see.'  

The owner of the house, who did not want to be identified, said: 'The tree is on council-owned land so it is their responsibility.'

The house's insurers ruled that damage caused by the tree required £75,000 of repairs. A council spokesman said six trees will be planted to replace the oak.  

A council spokesperson said the tree's removal was necessary to stop further damage and that six new trees will be planted in the surrounding area to replace the oak,  

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