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Enfield News

Emergency checks on Bush Hill Park trees after EastEnders star Diane Parish's near-miss

By David Hardiman

12:30pm Tuesday 29th May 2012

Emergency checks on trees after EastEnders star's near-miss

Tree surgeons are carrying out emergency inspections of trees in Bush Hill Park after a fall which crushed an EastEnders actress’ car.

Enfield Council workers are testing trees in the area for disease or decay following the fall on Friday afternoon that left Diane Parish, who plays Denise Johnson in the BBC show, with a damaged driveway and ruined black Audi.

She told the Enfield Independent that the council should pay to check all of the trees to make sure they are safe so that no more dangerous falls happen, after the council revealed it had not checked the trees for nearly two years.

Councillor Chris Bond, cabinet member for environment, said that it was “extremely rare” for any of the 22,500 trees on public roads in the borough to fall down, with most incidents caused by high winds or car crashes, although Friday afternoon was hot and sunny.

He added: “We have spoken to the resident and expressed our sympathy for the damage caused to her property. We have checked our data base and can find no records of any requests or concerns in the last two years relating to tree pruning or tree safety in the road.

“We take concerns about tree safety very seriously and had we received a complaint or concern about the safety of a tree we would have surveyed the specimen the same day we received the notification.

"We have now removed the damaged tree and are inspecting the other trees in the street to confirm they are safe as a matter of urgency.

“The tree in question and others along the street have been regularly inspected for decay and damage and the last inspection in July 2010 as part of the council's cyclical management program did not identify any evidence of decay or damage.”

Enfield has used pollarding – a method of pruning – to cut back trees since 2004, but the council said it was very difficult to tell if the trees were rotting from the inside out.

The council also said that a tree fall a neighbouring road in March 2007 complained about by Ms Parish’s neighbour, Dismo Vernazza, was the result of a storm and it could not be held liable for the incident.

The cause of Friday’s fall is still under investigation.

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