Bishopdown resident complains to council after tree removal

RISE in crime, noise and habitat damage are just some of a resident’s concerns after the trees behind his house were suddenly felled without his knowledge.

The Bishopdown resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, called the act “complete devastation” and “vandalism”.

They say Wiltshire Council (WC), which initiated the operation, failed to notify them of its intention to cut down the trees, bushes and foliage directly behind their property last month.

What happened?

Speaking about the day of the incident, the resident said: “I was informed that trees were falling in our garden, so I immediately came out and asked the workers what they were doing, and everything. they could say was that they had been sent by the council.”

After contacting authorities to find out why the trees had been cut down, the upset owner told the Newspaper it was because a neighbor had asked that the trees behind his own house be cut down, but not the whole area.

“I told council I didn’t want this to happen, these trees were planted for a reason and were well established – it looked like vandalism,” they said.

“If it was a safety issue, I would completely understand, but it’s just utter devastation.

“The result of this action left a large void in the grove, exposing the area, aimlessly.”

Nature, noise and crime

Damaging habitat and restricting wildlife, and allowing more light and street noise to reach the property, are some of the homeowner’s concerns.

They fear that the open space could act as a catalyst for crime, including anti-social behavior and fly dumping.

They added that since residents were not informed in advance of the tree-cutting operation, the scene could also have resulted in danger or injury.

“Unforeseen Circumstances”

Responding to residents’ concerns, Dr Mark McClelland, WC Cabinet Member for Street Scenes, said: ‘The wooded area was brought to our attention by a local resident as vegetation was encroaching and damaging their property.

“WC officers have visited and assessed the property and as such the work has been commissioned in accordance with our tree maintenance policy.

“We have apologized to [the complainant] for failing to notify them and other residents of the work due to an unforeseen set of circumstances. We have however reviewed the work and believe it was appropriate maintenance for the site.

There is no solution”

“The council has now apologized for not informing me of something that changed my life and the destruction of such an important 20-year-old protective belt, but there is no solution”, said the resident.

The “natural generation” was the recourse offered to the resident, they argue.

“[The council] basically accepted responsibility and now nothing is being done about it.

“It has significantly affected my good, the council should want to restore relations.”

“Seek an amicable solution”

The resident raised his concerns with Ian McLennan, Ward Councilor for Laverstock.

He said: ‘I recommended that, given that WC’s acceptance of the lack of contact with the affected residents was a mistake, that the council contact the two [the complainant and their neighbours], in order to agree on a satisfactory result for all.

“That would involve replanting some semi-mature trees, perhaps.”

Adding that the land is intended to be transferred to Laverstock and Ford Parish Council, Cllr McLennan said: ‘My view is that all issues should be resolved amicably with the residents, prior to any transfer, otherwise the problem would be simply resolved with the transfer and leave all costs to the parish council.

“I am looking for an amicable solution for all and quickly.”

MP involvement

Salisbury MP John Glen also liaised with the council and the resident concerned.

He said: ‘When issues are outside my purview, it’s always an important part of my role to help voters gain access to decision makers and amplify their concerns.

“I have done so in this instance and remain ready and willing to engage with both parties as needed to seek an explanation and resolution.”

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