Frank and Lin owned neighbouring houses. There was a large tree on Frank's land very close to the common boundary. Their boundary was marked by an old paling fence. Frank wanted to replace the fence with a brick retaining wall and keep the tree.
Lin wanted the tree removed because it was leaning over and she believed it might damage her property. She also felt that building a brick wall would involve cutting back some of the tree roots, which might make it even less stable.
Frank said the tree was subject to a Local Council Tree Preservation Order and could not be removed. Lin did not believe this.
At the mediation, Lin and Frank both explained their points of view. While they did not have enough information to come to a final decision, they were able to agree on a plan for future action.
Lin agreed to get legal advice and write to the local council outlining the full facts in order to establish whether the council would prevent the removal of the tree. Frank agreed to get advice from a qualified tree specialist and have the tree removed if the specialist advised it was likely the tree could cause damage and council granted approval. Frank offered to pay the full cost of the brick wall he wanted. Frank and Lin agreed that they would share costs of submitting a development application to council to get permission to build the brick wall and, if necessary, to remove the tree.