AN historic Grade 2 listed house and wall in Bratton are being threatened by overhanging trees.

The owner of Melbourne House close to The Duke in the centre of the village has applied to Wiltshire Council for approval to pollard a sycamore tree and a eucalyptus tree.

Dean Berry wants to cut back the branches of a large eucalyptus tree overhanging the roof of his Georgian house in Melbourne Street.

Parish councillors were told the tree’s branches are also overhanging the car park of Bratton Primary School.

As well, the Grade 2 listed wall at Melbourne House is being damaged by a self-seeded sycamore tree which has grown to such a size where it is damaging the wall and a small outbuilding which was originally a Georgian privy and is now used as a log shed.

Company director Mr Berry said: "The sycamore tree is the more worrying one. It needs to be removed.

"It is leaning against the Georgian wall and causing the brickwork to bow out towards the lane and is in imminent danger of bringing down the wall.

"The eucalyptus tree was pollard about three years ago and has since grown like crazy. It just needs pollarding back," said Mr Berry, who bought the house around 20 years ago.

Parish councillors in Bratton were told Mr Berry is now concerned that another severe storm will cause the wall and outbuilding to collapse.

Nicola Duke, the clerk to Bratton Parish Council, said councillors had left it to the tree officer to give his views.

Wiltshire Council is still consulting on Mr Berry's two applications. The deadline for comments is April 5.

Melbourne House is one of the most expensive properties in Bratton and is valued at more than £1 million.

The house was built circa 1768 by William Whitaker and remained in the Whitaker family until 1922. The Whitakers had been clothiers and mill owners in the Westbury area since the 16th century.

The name of the house derives from its proximity to Melbourne Street, located in the part of Bratton known as Milbourne.

Alterations were made to the house during the late 19th and early 20th centuries including a rear extension and the conversion of the upper floor attic into living space.

The house still retains its original coach house, stable and of course the privy, although the malthouse built in the grounds by William Whitaker has long since gone.