A homeowner wanting to cut down a tree has been left ‘shocked’ after a neighbour called Southampton City Council to try and stop the plans.

The 14-metre tall robinia tree that stands in the front garden of a home in Botany Bay Road, Sholing, is said to be negatively affecting residents' mental health.

The applicant says the tree blocks light, has spiky leaves – and poses a risk if a branch falls.

The owner, who does not want to be named, said: “The mental health of the residents has been affected over the years by the quantity of complaints.

“It has been arranged for the tree to be removed to bring an end to the quantity of issues the tree has caused.”

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The applicant said they spoke to all their immediate neighbours and all agreed it was time for the tree to go.

They were in the process of saving up to pay for the felling – but then on July 10 a city council tree officer turned up at the door – and a TPO (tree protection order) was made.

The council had received a call earlier that month, warning them of the plans.

The owner objected to the TPO and in a letter to the council, said: “We are shocked to receive the TPO as we were constantly under the impression that those that lived under the effects of the tree only had one focus – that was to see it gone.”

The council’s tree team said: “(We) cannot take negative verbal comments made to the tree owner as a legitimate reason for not protecting the tree.

“If the council were to accept this as a justified reason not to protect a tree, it would find it impossible ever to protect any tree within the city.”

The council’s planning panel will decide next Tuesday whether they will uphold the TPO.

The owner has asked the tree team to explain its justification for upholding the TPO so that they can ‘circulate to my neighbours who are living this dreadful experience with us’.