Anger after hedges hacked
HACKED hedgerows and felled trees left residents furious as builders ignored planning permission in their bid to build new homes in Ipswich.David Wilson Homes, based in Essex, is planning to build more than 40 new homes in the Stone Lodge Lane area of Ipswich but claims workers had to remove more trees than originally planned to be able to clear a path.
By Victoria Knowles
HACKED hedgerows and felled trees left residents furious today after builders prepared to construct new homes in Ipswich.
David Wilson Homes, based in Essex, is planning to build more than 40 new homes in the Stone Lodge Lane area of Ipswich but claims workers had to remove more trees than originally planned to be able to clear a path.
Angry residents say the destruction has ruined their views and unnecessarily ripped down many trees and hedges.
Iain Standen lives on Stone Lodge Lane and said: "We saw the final plans and apparently they needed to cut back 1.4m of hedgerow but I think they must have misread it and it looks like they have taken 14m.
"Stone Lodge Lane used to be a little bit of countryside in the town but they are ruining that. The contractors came in with chain saws. It has taken away the whole nature of the road, there is nothing wrong with the development as such but I am sure the trees would have been a selling point.
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"We had watched some of the trees grow and mature and it is sad that they have been ripped down and I know that if I was the planning officer they would have regretted this," he said.
Another resident, who did not want to be named, was sure it would affect house prices. She said: "The lovely trees and feeling of greenery is one of the best bits about living here and now they have taken some of that away. The view will never be the same and some of the character is lost forever," she said.
An Ipswich Borough Council spokeswoman said: "Planning permission was granted for the partial removal of hedgerow to facilitate a pavement from Stone Lodge Lane with the retention of the majority of the hedge. The developers, David Wilson Homes, have destroyed more of the hedgerow that approved in the planning application. We are currently in discussion with the developers to agree a suitable replanting scheme to ensure the hedge is reinstated."
But a spokesman for David Wilson Homes Eastern region said: "As part of the planning approval for the proposed development off Stonelodge Lane, we were required by Ipswich Borough Council to provide a public footpath alongside the road, which unfortunately involved the removal of some of the trees and hedgerow.
"Before starting work, we consulted with the highway officer and agriculturist from the council on site to agree the extent of pruning required and this is being carried out by a qualified agriculturist. The dead elm trees that were immersed in the hedging had to be removed for health and safety reasons and this work has since been inspected and fully approved by the council.
"To maintain the local landscape, we have offered to replant the gaps in the hedging caused by the removal of the dead elm trees and this will commence in due course."