Man forced to sell his house after neighbour dispute over trees culminated

A Bruges court has ordered Alain Coessemaker from Assebroek to sell his house. The decision comes after a never-ending dispute between Alain and his neighbours over a number of trees. Penalty payments had reached over 800,000 euros, and this has grave consequences. 

The Vondelstraat in Bruges is the scene of a serious neighbour dispute. Neighbours to the left and right side of Alain Coessemaeker's property are complaining about various trees in the front garden, claiming these are too close to the edge of the premises, taking a lot of light. They take the matter to court and win the case. 

Alain Coessemaker is ordered to remove the trees and has to pay 100 euros in compensation for each day this hasn't happened. He appeals against the decision, but loses the case. And there's more: the penalty payment is lifted to 1,000 euros per day, because the judge estimates that the man does not want to remove them. However, it takes two years before the trees are actually removed. 

Alain Coessemaeker argues that his mother died when he was four years old, and that his father was incapable of showing love and affection, whicht is why he (literally) fell in love with his trees. "I looked for love with my trees and they gave me love. (...) I hope to set an example with this, to make people think about other ways to handle nature than just demolishing trees." 

Top stories