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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 June 2006, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Row over Cilla's trees breaks out
Cilla Black
Black headed up a panel of judges on ITV1's Soapstar Superstar
Police were called to Cilla Black's home in Buckinghamshire after three trees surrounding it were chopped down without her knowledge.

Some residents were unhappy with the height of the trees.

But Black could not cut the trees back herself without council permission because they had preservation orders.

Thames Valley police said they were called to a Denham address on Thursday and the matter was now being handled by South Buckinghamshire District Council.

The caller, believed to be Black's gardener, told police that the people operating on the trees were aggressive when approached.

"We were called out to ensure there was no breach of the peace while the council turned out to the location," said a spokeswoman for the police force.

The trees were cut back to 20 feet.


Black's spokesman said neighbours' concerns about the height of the trees had been taken seriously in the past, resulting in the matter being passed to the council.

He said it was not Black's decision whether the trees could be cut back because any such action required the council's permission.

"All the woods, every single tree, are covered by the tree preservation orders," he said.

One tree is due to be legitimately cut down because it had been assessed and found to be diseased, he added.

The law states that anyone found guilty of cutting, uprooting, lopping, topping or damaging a tree with a preservation order on it is liable to a fine of up to 20,000.

There is also an obligation to plant new trees to replace any which have been cut down.

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