An Ipswich couple have claimed a protected conifer tree in their back garden is a “health hazard”.
Chloe Cook and her partner Adam, both aged 22, made an application to Ipswich Borough Council to have the tree reduced in height, but were refused.
The pair, of Malkin Close in Whitton, now plan to appeal the refusal on the basis that the mess made by pigeons sitting in the tree could make them ill.
“I believe you can catch something from pigeon droppings,” said Miss Cook. “We have our shed in that corner and branches drop off the tree and damage our shed.
“It is visually unappealing and is a health hazard to not only ourselves, but our pet cat and our close relatives’ young children as it attracts vermin.”
The application asked to have the tree, which is around 11 metres high, cut down to three metres. The pair were not given permission because the council’s tree specialist said the work would damage the tree, which is protected with a Tree Preservation Order, and badly affect its appearance.
An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “When planning permission was given to build Malkin Close there were a number of trees on the site which were threatened by the development.
“The council made a commitment to protect the natural assets of the town and conserve the biodiversity of the area and these trees were protected with a Tree Preservation Order.
“Permission is needed to prune or cut back any protected tree and any work carried out must be in the interests of the health of the tree.
“The council’s tree specialist considered in this case that the work proposed would damage the tree and badly affect its appearance, which is why permission was refused.”