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pounds 1m bill to save just one tree.

A COUNCIL faced a pounds 1million bill last night for saving a single plane tree.

Three Appeal Court judges agreed that tenants of a block of mansion flats were entitled to spend pounds 570,000 underpinning their homes because of cracks caused by the tree roots.

One of the barristers in the case said: "Many millions of householders may think they now have a claim against the local authority. This judgment has wide implications."

London's Westminster City Council could have solved the problem with repairs costing less than pounds 14,000, but refused to cut down the tree outside the flats in Maida Vale.

They later argued that the tenants didn't have a case for damages because the cracks appeared in 1989 before they bought the freehold.

The pounds 1million bill is made up of pounds 835,430 for the cost plus interest of the underpinning works carried out in 1992-93, together with an estimated pounds 200,000 legal costs.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 22, 1999
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