Fareham residents warn overhanging trees will '˜kill people'Â
'˜PEOPLE will die if nothing is done soon'.
That was the frustrated message from FarehamÂ residents in Beaumont Close,Â angry that no action has been taken over large overhanging trees they believe will collapse onto nearby properties, including their own,Â at some point.
A dispute over ownership ofÂ land has put a halt to resolving an issue neighbours say has been badly handled as different organisations continue to pass the buck.Â
Residents told The News they have documents proving theÂ trees belong to Buckingham Court '“ an elderlyÂ residential block that was built after the previous landowners sold the land 26 years ago.
Locals said a fence was '˜conveniently' put up that suddenly zigzagsÂ at the back ofÂ Buckingham Court so it appears the trees are not on their land and are, therefore, supposedly the property of HampshireÂ Highways.
But, with aÂ 10ftÂ branch already menacingly hanging by a thread, residents said it was only a matterÂ of time before someone gets hurt '“ or worse.
Steve O'Dwyer, who owns a garage toÂ the back of his house where the trees overhang, said: '˜The trees won't last much longer. If they fall back, which is most likely, then people will die. There's an elderly residential apartment block there now and it will fall right on them. They won't stand a chance.
'˜If the trees fall forward they might still hit our houses because they are so big. At the least they will fall into the back gardens and destroy people's conservatories.
'˜Buckingham Court say it belongs to Hampshire Highways and vice versa. I have historical documents showing it belongs to Buckingham Court, though. It's annoying everyone keeps passing the buck.'
Worryingly, cracks along the garage floor can be seen where tree routes are pushing through. Wonky garage roofs where the ground has become unevenÂ can also beÂ seen.
Another resident, Kevin Turner, said: '˜There are some big cracks that have started appearing. We just want this to be sorted out before people are hurt. We do not want compensation.Â
'˜Buckingham CourtÂ put up a fence that went around the trees so it looks like they are not on their land. The fence runs straight all the way until it gets to the trees and then goes around them.Â
'˜Hampshire Highways were going to come over and cut down theÂ trees and then invoice Buckingham Court but they have now put things on hold and will not respond to our messages.'
Gary Swatton, whose house and back garden are in the line of fire if the trees fall forward, added: '˜It's all about money. No one wants to pay toÂ cut the trees down. The trees were tiny when the apartments were built but it is a real problem now.
'˜The trees could come down any time. One large branch is hanging by a thread '“ if it fell on someone's head it would kill them.'Â Â