Neighbours have cut a tree in half after a row over bird mess in the driveway and noise issues.

Graham and Irene Lee, both in their 70s, called in tree surgeons to the suburb of Waterthorpe in Sheffield to cut overhanging branches from a fir tree on Friday.

Their neighbour Bharat Mistry, 56, said his family were "distraught" that Mr and Mrs Lee had taken the measures as the tree had been there for more than 25 years.

It had been the source of a disagreement for the past year after a series of complaints about mess on the couple’s drive and the birdsong coming from the 16-foot tree.

"We pleaded and pleaded with them not to do it, but their mind was made up," said Mr Mistry. "That tree was coming down."

… and how it looks after its trim

Credit: Matthew Lofthouse/South West News Service

Joanne Ellis is a specialist in neighbour and land disputes at the London-based law firm Stephensons. 

She said: "They’re perfectly entitled to do this because you’re entitled to cut off anything that overhangs and when you own property you own all of that space.

“But if the tree dies because it’s been hacked so severely, then potentially that could be criminal damage – as they’ve destroyed something that belongs to somebody else."