Resident’s fury as council hacks down his hedge

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Hampshire County Council
Kevin Verran’s hedge was chopped down outside his house

HAMPSHIRE County Council has been accused of hacking down a resident’s hedge without permission.

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Kevin Verran claimed nesting birds had been killed when a highways team mistakenly chopped down the vegetation growing outside his property in Everton.

He said it would cost him thousands of pounds to put right and decades to regrow the hedge.

HCC told the A&T it was investigating the incident, which Mr Verran said happened on 22nd July and had also harmed a fence. He is now threatening to sue the council.

He said: “Hampshire highways admitted the hedge was not supposed to have been cut down as it is on my land.

“I face a replanting bill of many thousands to get tall replacement plants put in.

“How the hell did it come to a posse of chainsaw-wielding contractors being allowed onto my land, and all under contract from HCC?”

Because his home is within the national park, Mr Verran has also been told by the park authority that if he wants to replace the mutilated, native hedge with a new one, instead of waiting for it to back, he will have to submit a removal notice for permission.

Steve Avery, NPA executive director of strategy and planning, said: “The hedge was unfortunately cut down in error and we understand that Hampshire County Council is in discussions with Mr Verran over the matter.

“After visiting the property, our tree officer has confirmed that roots and stumps remain and the hedge, made up of native species, will grow back.

“If Mr Verran wants to remove the stumps to prevent re-growth (which is contrary to our advice), he needs to submit a hedgerow removal notice and we’ll then consult with all relevant parties and get a definitive answer on whether it is an ‘important’ hedge worthy of a Hedgerow Retention Notice from Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre.”

He added: “We appreciate Mr Verran would like to re-establish a hedge as soon as possible but his request to replant with non-native species is likely to reduce biodiversity and would be out of keeping with the character and appearance of this countryside location within the national park.”

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: “We are aware of Mr Verran’s complaint which we are taking very seriously.

“We have been in contact with Mr Verran and the matter is being fully investigated.”

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