COUNCILLORS denied permission to fell a protected oak tree in Hurworth despite a resident’s fear it could demolish his home.

Geoffrey Scott told a meeting of Darlington Council’s planning committee that the roots of the large tree in the grounds of Hurworth Grange Community Centre would sometimes lift from the ground in high winds.

Mr Scott, of Woodlands Way, said he lived in fear every time there was a strong wind because the tree would crush his house if it fell.

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Councillors said they sympathised with Mr Scott but a report by an arboricultural officer recommended that the tree was still worthy of protection.

No expert evidence stating that the tree was a risk or diseased had been provided in the in the application to have it felled so permission was refused.