A man is battling the council to let him keep two trees he planted in the grass verge outside his house.

Alasdair Liddle, a Brighton resident of 35 years, wanted to replace his trees which had been there for 30 years and caused no problems but had died.

Since he replaced them last year with similar trees, he has received numerous letters from Brighton and Hove City Council saying they will remove them, despite the council’s green strategy to plant more trees.

“I was astounded and livid,” he said.

Brighton and Hove City Council said the tree had been planted in a verge containing cables and other services. Therefore, as it grows it will cause damage and consequently the tree would need to be removed.

The Argus: In 1992, Mr Liddle and fellow Roedean residents were granted licences to have trees planted outside their homes after sending a petition to the council.

The council planted the trees, but residents had to pay £350.

Many of the original mountain ash trees have since been neglected or died, including those outside Mr Liddle’s home.

The 88-year-old was under the impression that because his trees had died and the replacement ones were similar, it would not be an issue.

The Argus:

The council has instead said that they are happy to place some wooden posts on the kerb, at his expense.

Mr Liddle said he wonders whether the council will remove all kerbside trees in Brighton and Hove.

However, Mr Liddle would much rather have the trees and has branded the wooden posts, which other people in the area have, as horrible.

"There has been no work on this verge since [the trees were planted], and the big trees planted at the same time just next door have not damaged underground services," Mr Liddle claimed.

He believes the posts cause more damage to the ground as they are more solid and could prove a danger to motorists, because they are closer to the road.

The Argus: The posts the council wants to replace the trees withThe posts the council wants to replace the trees with (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)A man living in the same street, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "The trees are lovely. They encourage wildlife, birds, and things like that - and also have the effect of stopping people parking on the verge.

"We support him, and I think you will find that all of the neighbours here support him.

"It is two trees or a row of bollards. I know what I want."

A council spokesperson said: “This tree has unfortunately been planted in a verge that contains cables and other services.

"As it grows, it is likely that it will damage these services and become entangled, leading to the need for more complex work in the future. Consequently, this tree will need to be removed.”