Man devastated after ‘dangerous’ tree he tried to get felled for 30 years crashes into his house

A man who called for 30 years to have a ‘dangerous’ tree felled has been left devastated after it crashed into his home during Storm Erik.

Melvin Toon. 68, from Bulwell, said he has been making “countless” calls to Nottingham City Council about the tree since moving into the property in 1985.

He said the tree, which was about 25ft from his three-bedroom, semi-detached home, had always shaken heavily in the wind.

The tree fell on top of the home on Saturday morning (Picture: SWNS)

He also believed it did not have enough space for roots to make it stable and feared it would come down.

The great-grandfather was told by the council it was protected under a preservation order, but Mr Toon said it was only trimmed once every ten years.

Winds of up to 50mph brought the chestnut tree crashing down on to the house at 6.45am on Saturday during Storm Erik, causing an estimated £20,000 worth of damage.

Melvin Toon said he has warned the council about the tree since the 1980s (Picture: SWNS)
Mr Toon says he has been warning the council about the tree for 30 years (Picture: SWNS)

The 40ft tree damaged the roof, loft and the middle room at the back of the house.

Many of Mr Toon’s belongings were covered in dirt from the loft, and have since become damp from the hole in the roof.

The retired demolition worker and ex-serviceman said: “Countless times I have rung them up.

”They told me it has got a preservation order on it. When there was high wind we could see the branches bending.

“I always thought one day that tree is going to come down.”

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Mr Toon’s eldest son, Paul, 40, had been staying in the middle room at the back of the house until four days before the incident.

The family dog Stanley, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, had been sleeping in the middle room but managed to get out in time.

Mr Toon said: “At about 6.45am, I was about to get up when all of a sudden there was a tremendous bang.

The tree smashed through one of the bedrooms in the house (Picture: SWNS)
The impact of the tree left a hole in the roof (Picture: SWNS)

“The whole room room shook and it was drenched with thick, black dust that came from the loft. I heard my son shouting.

“It took me a few minutes to realise this was reality. I thought ‘was it a plane?’.

“I got out of the bedroom as quickly as possible. We checked in the middle room – we thought the dog had been killed.

“But then we heard the dog bark downstairs. We realised the tree had come down.

“The council should have chopped the tree and it probably would never have happened.

Pieces of the tree in the property’s garden after the storm (Picture: SWNS)
Much of the property was destroyed (Picture: SWNS)

“I urged my son to move rooms four days before the event. He would have been killed.

“You get these feelings and instincts to do something. We are relieved we are alive.”

Delroy Beverley, director of construction, repairs and maintenance services at Nottingham City Homes, who manage the property on behalf of the council, said: “The falling tree has caused significant structural damage to the exterior roof and to internal ceilings on the upper floor of the property.

“We have offered Mr Toon and his family alternative temporary accommodation over the weekend. However, they have elected to stay with relatives for the time being.

“We intend to start further investigations next week, and work with Mr Toon to ensure that him and his family have somewhere to stay while the works to the property are being carried out.”

The house is owned by the council and Mr Toon said he would take another property if it offers him one.

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