Huge tree crashes into garden in North Anston during storm Eunice causing extensive damage to house

Residents in North Anston have hit out at Rotherham Council after a 40-foot tree fell into a garden during Storm Eunice causing extensive damage to a property.

Monday, 28th February 2022, 11:15 am

People living in Netherthorpe Way had previously informed the local authority of the dangers the trees pose behind their properties and asked officials to take action.

A tree fell into the garden of the home belonging to John Madden during high winds on February 18.

Mr Madden said: “The tree fell into my garden and caused extensive damage to the exterior of the house and damaged the roof, such that we now have part of the roof missing in the rear bedroom.

Huge tree falls into a garden during Storm Eunice causing extensive damage to property

“It has also caused damage to our neighbour’s property.

"It is very concerning that other trees may come down as a result of further bad weather.”

The woodlands to the rear of the properties is known as Anston Plantation have been established for more than 100 years, and became the responsibility of Rotherham Council in 1965.

Local parish councillor, Ben Bailey, has been liaising with the council on behalf of the residents, and is putting together a report of the damage caused by the fallen tree, which will be presented to council bosses.

The tree in the garden of the property in North Anston.

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He said: "Early 1990 it became apparent that the woodland needed improvement to the structure and biodiversity of the site, many trees were removed to open up the canopy to improve natural regeneration and light for successful establishment and growth of new trees.

"A five year management plan was set in place to provide low level thinning and re-stocking.

" It was a further 20 years before any management of the plantation was undertaken”.

Coun Bailey added: “The situation grows more difficult for residents day by day.

"This has been more evident during storms Dudley and Eunice when I have visited house’s damaged due to tree collapse as well as elderly residents who are quite rightly angry at the councils inability to deal with what must now be a simple solution”.

A letter was sent last year by Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford acknowledging concerns and issues raised by residents about the potential hazards of falling branches from trees, but no further measures have been taken.

Rotherham Council's acting assistant director of culture, sport and tourism, Leanne Buchan said: "The council is aware of a large fallen tree in North Anston due to the recent storm, which has caused damage to two surrounding properties.

"We sympathise with those affected and are relieved to hear that no injuries were reported due to this incident.

"One of our officers has attended the scene to discuss the clean-up process and offer support to the residents.

"Although the council has previously been made aware of concerns regarding the trees within this area, upon the last inspection they were found to be in good health with a low risk of collapsing.

“All trees have potential to fall, depending on the wind load and direction as well as any weakness or disease within the tree.

"Over the last seven days the country has experienced three separate storms which is highly unusual.

" The extreme weather conditions led to healthy trees falling, localised flooding and other substantial damage across the borough and throughout the country.”

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