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article imageHuge trees upset neighbours of UK man

By Lynn Curwin     Sep 7, 2010 in World
Plymouth - Residents of a Devon neighbourhood are upset about the size of the trees in front of one man’s house. The 16 Leyland cypress trees planted by David Alvand have reached a height of 35 feet, blocking out sunlight to nearby homes.
Residents of the Plymouth neighbourhood have complained to the council in an effort to have Alvand chop down, or trim, the trees.
Alvand planted the trees almost 20 years ago.
"I have been chased for two decades over the state of my gardens,” The Telegraph quoted him as saying. “I feel victimised. The neighbours are complaining because they have a vendetta against me.
"I am a law-abiding citizen and I have suffered for 20 years being chased over my wall and trees. It's my land."
Alvand had previously been involved in a 12-year legal battle which forced him to take down a 12 foot high concrete wall he had put up around his semi-detached home. That dispute involved three appeals, a government inspector, a public meeting, two High Court sessions, magistrate’s court and the Court of Appeal in London. It cost the local council more than £20,000.
In 2004, Alvand was ordered to pay a £700 fine and £2,500 costs after being found guilty of breaking planning laws. He was told to reduce the size of the wall but refused. After council got authority to go to court to have the work carried out and bill him he finally reduced it to six feet.
Alvard’s neighbours have now registered a complaint under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act. They are concerned about the appearance of the trees, the fact that they block sunlight, and about damage the root systems may be causing.
Plymouth City Council is investigating the situation but hopes an agreement can be reached.
"Our tree officers have contacted Mr Alvand, who indicated he would like to explore further mediation with his neighbours,” The Telegraph quoted a council spokesman as saying.
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