A SEPARATE legal battle is also raging over the temporary road closure notices which have been put in place at either end of Main Street, Irton.
The legality of the notice is being questioned by former police traffic sergeant Keith Hughes.
Mr Hughes, who is an Irton resident, has served a notice on North Yorkshire County Council granted by a judge at Scarborough County Court.
The matter was due to be heard at Leeds County Court at 10am today.
Mr Hughes said that he thinks the county council is being “very cavalier with the law”.
He explained: “For a road closure such as this they should give eight weeks’ notice.
“It would appear that they are arguing that the danger to the public will be when the tree is taken down if pedestrians are stood around.
“This is a creative interpretation of the law. The danger should be at present, not when work is done.
“If this was the case they could argue that if they have planned maintenance of, say a sewer, then they can use an emergency order because a car or pedestrian could fall into the hole that they are digging.”
A council spokeswoman said: “Due to the strength of public feeling generated on both sides by the tree and the recent action in the location, the likelihood of individuals attempting to gain access to hazardous areas of the works to hinder progress, which would be a significant risk to themselves and the contractors undertaking the work, is considered too great to take no action.
“Therefore the emergency closure is necessary.”