A father-of-two from Lee has accused Lewisham Council of failing in its duty of care after an enormous horse chestnut tree collapsed into his driveway.

Dan Radford, 38, described his shock at waking up on Friday morning to find the tree had fallen straight onto the family car, which has now been written off.

“I thought someone was trying to steal the car. It was about 4.50am on Friday and I looked outside to see the tree on the driveway.”

Mr Radford, who lives on Handen Road, added the family was lucky to not have been injured in the incident, as the tree had fallen in the direction of his 17-month-old daughter’s bedroom.

“The kids had been playing in the front garden with the nanny just the day before. I’m so grateful this happened at night when we were asleep.”

After calling Lewisham Council to report the tree, Mr Radford was left reeling as he was told he would have to file an insurance claim for his car and the damage to his driveway.

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Mr Radford's car was completely destroyed

“Why should I have to pay an insurance premium for this?” he argued.

Mr Radford claimed a tree management specialist admitted the horse chestnut had been infected with white rot for at least five years.

He also demanded the Council improves its surveying of trees to detect warning signs of rot in the early stages.

“[The council] needs to take responsibility.

“There are so many of these trees around and everyone right now is concerned because you don’t know if your tree is going to be the next one that falls over.

“If someone gets caught under a tree that falls over it will be a tragedy.”

A spokesman for Lewisham Council said: “We apologise for Mr Redford’s inconvenience, and the concern this has caused.

“The Council will provide relevant information requested by insurance companies dealing with any claim pursued by Mr Radford, in the meantime the fallen tree has been cleared and the site made safe.”