'Enormous' conifer tree was causing light deprivation and safety concerns for disabled Shoreham pensioner

A conifer tree, which grew to an 'enormous' level outside a disabled pensioner's flat, has finally been cut back.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 4:50 pm
Updated Friday, 10th December 2021, 5:18 pm

Joy Saunders, 74, who moved to Buci Crescent in Shoreham-by-Sea four years ago, first complained about the size of the tree outside her flat in 2019.

Joy, who is recovering from a stroke earlier this year and has limited mobility, said she is physically disabled and her mental health was being affected by the lack of natural light

She was also getting increasingly anxious with the proximity of the tree to her property, with the recent high winds.

Esther Morton, Adrian Warwick and Joy Saunders with the tree in Buci Crescent, Shoreham-by-Sea which is very close to Joy and Adrian's homes. Photo: Steve Robards

"I can't see anything outside apart from the tree," she said. "It's definitely a safety issue.

"You can't get round it. I'm just a bit fed up with it all.

"They [Adur and Worthing Council] kept saying they would do something about it but they put it off during the lockdowns and I heard nothing more.

"I kept going on and on but I was told to deal with it myself. I can't because I'm disabled. I can't do it."

Joy first complained about the size of the tree outside her flat in 2019. Photo: Steve Robards

Joy's son, Andrew, also contacted the council about the issue but he was advised to cut it back as much as possible.

With support, he was able to remove the lower branches and improve access to the flats.

However, other than minor trimming, the family considered further trimming unsafe, unless done by a professional.

When approached by this newspaper, Adur and Worthing Councils said the tree had been inspected by its arboricultural inspector and was included in a tree work programme for the new year.

Joy, who is recovering from a stroke, said her mental health was being affected by the lack of natural light. Photo: Steve Robards

A spokesperson said: "The lower branches will be removed to a height of approximately four metres. This should clear branches hanging into the front garden and increase light into the property."

However, this work looks to have been completed earlier than expected.

Joy's sister, Esther Morton, said the council came out and trimmed the 'enormous' tree on Wednesday (December 8).

Esther said it was 'excellent news', adding: "Although not perfect, it has made her [Joy] feel a lot safer as it is now trimmed away from the building and gives her much more light."