Residents are outraged after a 50ft tall weeping willow tree which keeps their homes in permanent darkness was placed under a protection order.
Locals say the 50-year-old tree blocks out the sun, affects television reception and damages nearby buildings.
They have campaigned for the council to trim the willow for 20 years and are furious that King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council has now issued a tree preservation order.
An eight-page legal letter sent to residents this week warns them not to cut any branches or fell the tree until they get the council’s permission.
Disabled George Britton, 81, said he is ”at the end of his tether” after living for 20 years under the shadow of the giant tree.
The widower says the tree blocks all sunlight and blocks his television reception.
He added: ”It all started more than 20 years ago and I’m at the end of my tether.
”It is so high it blocks out all the sunlight in my house. I have to turn the lights on all day and I can’t get any reception on my big expensive telly.
”The council has sent me an eight page letter filled with planning jargon telling us we can’t even trim back the branches.
”I don’t what to do all I’m asking for is a bit of sunlight.”
Neighbour Andrew Denet, 51, said falling branches caused £1,000 damage to his roof and destroyed a £700 garden table and chairs.
He added: ”It is massive now and we are getting fed up with it. The roots are damaging paths, branches keep falling down and poor George has got no sunlight.
”George was six inches away from a falling branch the other week. You can’t sit out in the garden at all – it’s terrifying.
”We were happy because we were going to trim it back but now the council sends out an eight page letter telling us we can’t because its got protection.”
The weeping willow, which is the higher than a three storey building, was planted in the 1950s before Andrew moved into the area.
It is surrounded by houses, shops and behind the council offices and grew steadily before reaching its current height around 1990.
The weeping willow is now so large that it can be clearly seen from on Google Maps.
It is growing on land rented by Avn Arena accountants, in Chapel Street, who applied to trim back the branches earlier this year.
Director Nicholas Tunnard accused the council of carrying out a u-turn after first agreeing it could be drastically chopped back.
He said: ”I told everyone I’d pay for it. I know lots of branches hang in neighbour’s gardens and we said we’d cut it back for them there was no problem and the council agreed.
”Then the council comes along and chucks a tree preservation order on it stopping us from doing anything.
”It’s a very large tree and causes lots of problems. Who knows what goes through council’s mind sometimes, I’ve just no idea.”
A spokesman for Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk said the tree is in conservation area and cannot be chopped down.
He added: ”The council was notified by the owners of the tree that they wished to cut it back and a course of action was agreed.
”Prior to the work taking place the applicant submitted a new notification, requesting instead to fell the tree, forcing the council to review its position.
”A full assessment of the tree had been carried out by the council and it was concluded that felling it would be unacceptable because it would be detrimental to the visual appearance of this conservation area.”
Earlier this month David Alvand, 66, in Plymouth, Devon, finally chopped down a 35ft high Leylandii trees in his front garden after neighbours called it an ‘eyesore’.
He planted 16 in his front garden and they soon completely covered his semi-detached home as he refused to prune them – for 20 years.