Tree hell for Custom House residents

Two elderly residents in Custom House say huge trees on their property are making their lives a misery.

Rosaline Harrison, 76, and her sister Rosemary, 78, who live in Hoskins Close, cannot get around easily without a wheelchair and they say their lives are made more difficult by the presence of huge trees in their front and garden whose roots crack up the ground.

Their daughter, Wendy Wade, says she has been trying to get the council to remove them for two years as they make it impossible to improve their garden, hang washing outside, or pave over the ground to make wheelchair access easier.

Wendy said: “We’ve spent hundreds of pounds trying to grow things but the roots keep coming up through the soil.

“We’ve had housing officers round saying no problem but then they always come back saying they can’t do anything about it, and improve our housing situation, because the trees are healthy and they won’t cut down healthy trees.

“We’re just at the end of our tether.”

Since Wendy first contacted the Recorder, the trees have been cut back but she says this fails to solve the real root of the problem.

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A Newham Council spokesperson said: “We have been in regular contact with the family at this address regarding this matter. The tree has been extensively pruned to improve access.

“We do not want to cut down a healthy tree unnecessarily and so as a matter of urgency we are currently investigating what the best solution is for the family which will also hopefully help to preserve the tree.”