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We reported to the council that the tree growing on their land has branches that are affecting the telephone line. The branches were pressing up hard against the line straining it almost to breaking point.

After much arguing with the council who denied all liability, BT Openreach was persuaded to cut the branches which they did but emphasise that it was not their responsibility and that they would probably bill the council.

It has taken several weeks to get the branches cut and we still think that the tree is the council's responsibility and not BT Openreach as after all the tree is maintained by the council and is on council land.

Unfortunately as the tree grows we will be faced with the same problem within the next year or two!

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send the council photos with a letter.

If the branches break the line, BT will repair and send bill to the council no doubt.


I sent photos but the council stated that BT should resolve the issue. I cannot understand their attitude as the tree is on council land and owned by the council.

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  • 4 months later...

old post but I have proper advice for you. although the tree is the responsibility of the council and they are responsible for it. they are not legally required to ensure you are receiving phone reception. it is the utility company who is responsible for you receiving a good reception and therefore it is up to them to make sure that the tree is not disturbing the line.



there is no legal obligation from the council to carry out works to a tree that affects a phone line. the councils obligations to trees are that it is not dangerous or causing/risk of causing damage to property. some councils may carry out works to trees that are disturbing phone lines, but there is no requirement for them to do so. it is the responsibility of the provider to ensure you get your service not the council.

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the council may have carried out the works, but as I said it is not their responsibility to ensure that people receive phone reception. that is for the utility provider to deal with.



look up NJUG 10 and the telecommunications act 1984 which detail how a utility company is responsible for carrying out works which disturb their trees whilst causing minimal damage to the tree itself.


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