‘Please ELDC, end our living hell’ - Woodhall Spa couple appeal to planners amid claims oak tree is more important than lives

Chris and Bill Wainhouse in front of one of the problem trees at their home in Woodhall Spa
Chris and Bill Wainhouse in front of one of the problem trees at their home in Woodhall Spa

A heartbroken couple from Woodhall Spa have appealed to East Lindsey District to help end their “two years of living hell.”

Pensioners Chris and Bill Wainhouse have lived in their bungalow in Gorse Close for 24 years.

They claim their home is under threat from an oak tree in a neighbouring property.

They say a report from their insurers proves roots from the tree are causing subsidence at their property.

The couple applied to ELDC’s planning department last year for permission to fell the tree - along with another oak tree and a Scots Pine.

Their application was supported by Woodhall Spa Parish Council but there was opposition from the village Tree Group.

Planners at ELDC deferred a decision. Since then, the couple say the subsidence has become much worse.

Now, their insurers have submitted a new application to fell the problem tree and the Scots Pine. The remaining oak tree would be ‘crowned’.

All three tress are protected.

Again, the Parish Council is supporting them - as is district councillor Craig Leyland.

However, the Tree Group is objecting.

Planners are due to debate the application next month.

The couple say their insurers are unwilling to pay for the bungalow to be ‘underpinned’ - while the problem oak tree remains.

They add subsidence is causing walls to crack and often, they can’t shut their back door. Woodlice “invade” their home through gaps.

An emotional Mrs Wainhouse told the News: “The last two years have been a living hell - a nightmare.

“People say why not move, but no-one would get a mortgage on the house. We’re trapped. We’re in limbo.”

Mrs Wainhouse thanked the Parish Council and Coun Leyland for their support but hit out at the Tree Group which she described as “unelected and unacountable.”

She added: “People seem to be putting a tree before people’s lives.”

Mr Wainhouse claimed their were originally 31 protected trees in the Grove Close area - but only three remained. She said she had been unable to discover what had happened to the other 28.

She added: “Our neighbour had no issue with the tree being felled. If we’d done it and not told anyone, we wouldn’t have had all this trouble.”

Coun Adrian Wilson, a member of the Tree Group, defended their stance at a Parish Council meeting, saying trees needing protecting.

Coun Leyland said he had “every sympathy” with Mr and Mrs Wainhouse and would be supporting their application.