Stebbing woman “shocked” as Uttlesford District Council chop down garden bush
PUBLISHED: 08:40 30 January 2017 | UPDATED: 08:40 30 January 2017
A Stebbing woman has spoken of her shock and disappointment about the unexpected uprooting of undergrowth in her garden, which used to attract birds to her house.
Carol Bartlett’s new neighbour wanted a fence put up in between their houses – something Mrs Bartlett had no problem with, so long as the hawthorn, elderberry, rose and ivy plants in her garden were left alone.
She was assured by Uttlesford District Council in a letter dated December 6 that the bush would not be taken down, except any branches overhanging into her neighbour’s garden, and Mrs Bartlett was happy with this “good resolution”.
The plants grew berries for birds to eat in the winter and she enjoyed seeing robins, blue tits, black birds, doves, sparrows, and pigeons from her window.
But last Monday (January 16) a council contractor came round and took a chainsaw to the shrub, uprooting the trunk completely so there is now nothing left.
Mrs Bartlett tried to stop him half way through, and has contacted the council since, but has not yet got a response.
She said: “I don’t think anybody cares about it.
“I have spoken to the RSPB about it and they were shocked, they shouldn’t have cut down the birds’ food at this time of year.
“The birds have been feeding on that for years.
“I was disappointed because I trusted the council, and I was shocked because I was trying to stop it, I got that awful feeling that I had no control over it and it was all happening around me.
“The council response to it was very top down, we are the council and you are not, and you will do what we say.”
Mrs Bartlett moved into the house on Pulford Place four years ago, and the bush was there then.
She has not decided if she will try to regrow the plants or not.
An Uttlesford District Council spokesman said: “Officers were initially advised that boundary fencing could be erected without damaging any bushes and that only an overhanging tree would need to be cut back.
“However when our contractor attended the site, it became obvious that the bush which is on the neighbouring property would need to be removed to allow the fence to be placed in the correct position.
“The removal of a natural boundary is not a decision that we make lightly, however in this case it was necessary to do so. The council apologises if this has caused upset.”