CONCERNS had been raised over a tree in a Southampton street nearly ten months before it eventually fell and crushed a car.

The oak tree in Somerset Avenue, Harefield, fell on November 21, blocking the entire road.

Resident Mark Dillow, who lives nearby, showed the Daily Echo correspondence between him and the council dated January 3, confirming that work would be done to remove deadwood from the tree.

But the council has now admitted that this work was never done.

Mr Dillow said: “While standing on the front drive we realised the large oak outside our property was leaning, and this had dislodged the BT cables, causing the damage to our house.

“I quickly visited the chip shop to let them know as their car was in the path of the falling tree.

“Just as we left the shop, there was an almighty crash as the tree smashed down, crushing the car and all in its path.”

He added: “I hope the council will now look back and learn from this.

“We have been complaining for a few years now and very little has been done.

“I dread to think what could have happened if this had occurred at a busier time, for example when the kids are walking to school or peak times.

“The council had emailed me in January this year saying they were going to remove the deadwood and also fell the tree outside the new block by the shops, but it never happened.

“I appreciate there have been budget cuts but when public safety is put at risk someone needs to take responsibility.

“I just hope we now see action on the rest of the trees along the front of the properties.”

An extract from the email reads: “The work to remove the deadwood from the tree is still live and will be attended to in due course.

“The oak tree at the end of the group by the shops is due to be removed and this will require a mobile elevated working platform (MEWP) due to the condition.

“When this work is being completed, the MEWP will be used to remove the deadwood in the trees to the front of your property.”

A Southampton City Council spokesperson said: “Following correspondence from a resident, a job was raised to have the deadwood removed in the canopy of a tree in Somerset Avenue at the same time as work to another tree in the area that required a mobile elevated working platform.

“Unfortunately due to other urgent health-and-safety work and a backlog of existing jobs, this work was pushed back and had not been completed when the tree unfortunately fell.

“However, the presence of the deadwood in the canopy of the tree would not have caused its failure.

“Trees along this road will continue to be monitored in line with the councils’ STORMS policy (Southampton’s Tree Operational Risk Management System), which is a rigorous and robust tree management system.”