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Man fined €6,000 for cutting down neighbour’s tree in northern France

He claimed the 70-year-old tree impaired his sea view

The tree stump was left rotting at the border of the neighbour’s property Pic: Julia Sudnitskaya / Shutterstock

A man who cut down a 70-year old tree on his neighbour’s property claiming it spoiled the view of the sea from his home has been fined €6,000.

Josette Lenoury, the owner of the land in Normandy where the pine tree was felled, said the tree was on the other side of the road and 300m from the house of the person who cut it down.

She said it had been planted by her grandfather 70 years ago in Fermanville, Manche, and had stood in the field undisturbed since. 

The neighbour had cut it down “for a totally selfish reason” and had not informed her of his plans before doing so, she added. 

Taken to court over damage

“This pine tree posed no danger whatsoever. It wasn't even on the edge of his property… it was set back some 50m from the road. Its one and only fault was that it prevented this neighbour from enjoying a full view of the sea,” said Miss Lenoury.

She took her neighbour to court, claiming damaging the tree broke biodiversity rules. 

“My approach is in line with my desire to raise awareness and encourage a sense of responsibility around the theme of protecting and respecting the environment,” she said.

The court ruled in her favour – there are strict rules about cutting down trees not on your property, which we recently covered in our article below – and ordered the unnamed neighbour to pay up.

In the pine’s place, Miss Lenoury has planted a new oak tree, which she hopes will grow as much as the previous tree. 

Read more: French law: Can I cut an overhanging branch from neighbour’s tree?

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