Neighbourhood battle over a tree
A five-year neighbourhood battle over a cedar tree blocking one couple’s views of the Waitemata Harbour is to head to court.
Kohimarama property owners Robert and Jill Benton have filed a case in the Auckland District Court against tree owners Fraser and Emily Elder, asking for the tree to be trimmed or chopped down.
The Bentons say the tree blocks their seaviews, is not suited to a domestic garden, damages the value of their property and should comply with the height restrictions of a neighbouring property. The Elders, who lives several houses away in the cul de sac, are not giving up without a fight.
Their son Gordon set up a Give a Little page last Monday to raise money for a legal defence.
‘‘There is no doubt they’re going to see this fight through,’’ Gordon said.
Lawyers for both parties will appear at Auckland District Court on May 16.
Tree Council chairman Sean Freeman said the argument was unusual given the two couples were not direct neighbours.
‘‘The tree was on the site when [the neighbours] bought their property,’’ he said.
A spokeswoman for Auckland Council said this was an ‘‘entirely civil matter,’’ and the council had no involvement.
One tree is at the root of a neighbourhood spat-turned legal debate.