If trees come into contact with electricity lines they can cause damage to electricity lines and electricity outage, injury, electrocution, and, in dry conditions, even fires. When trees come within a prescribed distance of an electrical conductor, the tree must be trimmed so it no longer constitutes a hazard to the line. If an electricity company becomes aware of a tree that is a hazard it will send the landowner a trim notice.
If a trim notice has been issued, the tree owner must allow the electricity company to cut or trim the tree or arrange for a qualified contractor to do so. Generally, the first trim is at the electricity company's cost. Subsequent trimmings are at the cost of the landowner.
A different rule applies if the trees subject to the trim notice are within an Open Space covenant because the area is protected. A trim notice cannot be issued to you for this reason.
Contact the electricity company (a written notice is best) and let them know that:
You should ask your QEII regional representative for an approval to trim covenanted trees and to detail how they will check that any trimming is carried out to their satisfaction. This must be a written approval, and can be done by letter or email. Once approval has been given you can ask the electricity company to contact you to arrange the trimming.
We have a template letter on our website that you can use to write to your electricity company about a trim notice that affects your covenant. Alternatively, give us a call (0800 467 367 - ask to speak with a member of the legal team) and we can send you the template letter.
The template letter can be found at this link TEMPLATE LETTER.
A number of regulations are set out in the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 that are attached to the Electricity Act 1992. Regulation 8 triggers an exception where an Open Space covenant is concerned. In summary: