Melton home owner angry after council chopped down hedge

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A householder is threatening legal action against Melton Council after a hedge he says he planted 30 years ago behind his property was chopped down by the authority without consulting him.

David Scarborough is angry because he claims the 15ft-high Leylandii was on his land, at 77 Valley Road, and screened his house from passers-by.

But the council say the hedge was not on his property and it was responding to a number of complaints from other residents that the vegetation had grown too high and was blocking their sunlight and spoiling the look of their gardens.

Mr Scarborough, who lets the house to tenants, said: “Cutting this hedge down without consulting anyone was complete vandalism in my opinion.

“I was astounded and disgusted when a neighbour told me the hedge had gone and I am considering taking legal action.

“I couldn’t believe they did it without consulting anyone. There is no privacy at all now at the back of the house and it’s affected wildlife because birds and hedgehogs nested in it.”

Mr Scarborough’s neighbour at number 79, Anton Burdett, is also upset about the loss of the hedge. He said: “The privacy and security the hedges gave us has been ruined. We are having to keep our curtains closed even in the daytime to prevent passers-by looking into our home.”

The council said it had received complaints from residents for the last three years about the Leylandii behind properties on Valley Road. It decided to go ahead with the work, it says, because the budget and resources were now available but it said it was not possible to consult residents on every piece of work.

Raman Selvon, waste and environmental services manager, said: “The hedge was not on the householder’s property - it was on the bank of a drain which the council has responsibility for maintaining.

“The hedge had no biodiversity value and we had a number of complaints about the height of the hedge over recent years.

“We have to maintain the bankside vegetation to protect the watercourse and we will be replanting six indigenous trees down there.”