Root bridge system rejected for proposed access

A scheme of protecting the roots of two protected lime trees in Somerset to facilitate access to two dwellings, was held to be sufficiently uncertain as to justify dismissing the appeal.

The appellant proposed to install a 15m2 bridge over the root protection areas which would be supported by 30 screws. This would avoid the need for any digging, concrete and soil compaction. The council, however, maintained that the limes could live for another 150 years and lateral roots could affect the screws and weaken their ability to support the access road.

The two limes formed part of an avenue and was relatively rare, an inspector decided. This made it more important to ensure their longevity and she could not be sure that lateral spreading roots would not interfere with the screws which would be buried to a depth of 100mm. On this basis the proposed bridge was unacceptable and the appeal was rejected.

Inspector: Nicola Davies; Written representations

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