The 69-year-old Brideshead Revisited star, who is actor Bill Nighy's former partner, is demanding the horse chestnut tree be chopped down, claiming roots are damaging her $2.9 million (£2 million) home, which she co-owns with her ex.

But Camden Council planners have sided with the actress' neighbour, Peter Stanley, and have put a preservation order on the tree.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Quick has been tangled up in the tree battle with Stanley for three years, and in a letter to the council obtained by the Mail about the damage to her 170-year-old house, she calls the drama "extremely inconvenient and distressing".

The star insists the tree's roots are responsible for cracks that have appeared on her walls and falling masonry, but Stanley claims the problems his neighbour is experiencing have nothing to do with the horse chestnut in his garden and are instead linked to building work at Quick’s home.

Three years ago, he agreed to chop down a willow and and an ash tree in his garden to appease his neighbour, but he refused to fell the horse chestnut, because it's home to birds and other wildlife.

Her former partner Nighy, with whom Quick shares a 31-year-old daughter, has yet to comment on the drama at his former home.