The “high hedge ASBO” and some horticultural double standards.
Flintshire County Council’s Planning Enforcement team have been celebrating a recent victory over a man from Aston, Deeside.
At Mold Magistrates’ Court on Friday 23 August, Flintshire County Council, prosecuted Thomas Cash from Aston, Deeside, under the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 due to the height of a conifer hedge.
The matter was referred to planning enforcement officers who issued Mr Cash with a high hedge remedial notice, was given six weeks to carry out the work, which he failed to complete, it was then referred to the Magistrates Court.
Mr Cash was fined £580.00 and ordered to cut the hedge and maintain it at the required height, within one month of the court order being made.
Andrew Farrow, Head of Planning, said:
“This case highlights that our planning enforcement officers will take court action, if necessary, regarding high hedge disputes.
Hedges do have an important role to play in the environment, providing privacy, reducing noise and encouraging wildlife.
However, when they are allowed to grow too tall, hedges can cast excessive shade and affect a neighbour’s enjoyment of their own property.
The legislation around high hedges seeks to achieve a balance between the merits and problems associated with hedges in residential areas.
Details about high hedges can be found on the Council’s website which explains in detail the process to go through to complain about a high hedge, and they are happy to investigate at a charge of £320 per household, concession are available.
Meanwhile a mile away in Shotton a patch of grass we highlighted in an article on July 26th is still waiting to be cut for the first time this year.
A resident contacted Deeside.com in July to tell us about grass behind houses on North Street, the grass on the council owned land is reaching heights of nearly 5ft, the area has becoming a magnet for fly tippers, there has also been a visible increase in the amount of rodent activity, which is causing residents some concern.
The council has been to the patch of grass on two occasions recently to remove dumped rubbish and they have also cut the grassed areas adjacent to the main road on numerous occasions.
We reported the uncut grass via the Fix My Street website on 26th July, receiving a prompt reply:
“Good Morning, I have passed your enquiry through to the Area Supervisor who will inspect and arrange for the grass to be cut. Job Number 1307 003593. Kind Regards Customer Services”
Nearly two weeks later on 8th August we received another update stating the problem had been “marked as fixed”
We then sent an email to customer services at Flintshire County Council, and received the following reply:
“Thank you for your email which has been received by Customer Services. The job was passed onto the Housing section as the land belongs to them, this was signed off as complete. I have contacted Housing and informed them this grass still remains uncut. I shall be in touch with further information as soon as I hear back”.
We didn’t hear back!
The grass has clearly prospered in the last month or so, more rubbish appears on a daily basis, and of course the local rodent population is taking sanctuary in the long grass.
It appears that this particular part of Shotton is low down the priority list for Flintshire County Council, unless of course your a “complaining neighbour” with a spare £360.00
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