‘Overgrown hedges are blocking our footpaths’

Mike Bettridge with overgrown hedging in Sidney Farm Lane EMN-160512-152104001
Mike Bettridge with overgrown hedging in Sidney Farm Lane EMN-160512-152104001
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Concerns have been raised over the state of hedging in a residential area of Stamford.

Retired construction manager Mike Bettridge, 70, of Foxglove Road, said hedges alongside footpaths and in a park near his home have not been trimmed this year.

Mr Bettridge, a grandfather of two, said overgrown vegetation has narrowed footpaths in Sidney Farm Lane; between Sweetbriar and Tobias Grove; and near the play area at the bottom of his street.

He said: “The hedging around here used to be cut back every September, but this year no-one has been to do it. It looks unsightly and the pathways are narrower than they should be because the hedges have not been cut back.

“The hedging along Sidney Farm Lane is much higher than it used to be now, making the footpath which runs along it dark and secluded. This path is used by a lot of children.”

Lincolnshire County Councillor David Brailsford, who represents the Stamford West ward, said serious thought should be given to permanently removing the hedge in Sidney Farm Lane.

He said: “The footpath in question is quite a busy thoroughfare and, for whatever reason, the hedging has not yet been cut this year.

“After looking into the matter, I’m told this work will be carried imminently.

“I’m disappointed it has taken until December to get it sorted and my fear is this will be a problem every year going forward.

“I think serious thought should be given to removing the hedging along Sidney Farm Lane entirely.

“There would be a cost, but the need for ongoing maintenance would disappear and so that actually save money in future.”

Kevin Brumfield, area highways manager for Lincolnshire County Council, said thought would be given to permanently removing the Sidney Farm Lane hedge if money was available.

He said: “This hedging gets cut back each year, and is planned to be dealt with this week.

“We could consider removing the hedging entirely, but this would rely on us having the money do so. The long-term savings in maintenance would also need to outweigh the short-term costs of the work.

“However, before doing anything, we would need to speak to the local community to make sure they would be in agreement if funding was available.”

The hedges in Foxglove Road and Sweetbriar are the responsibility of South Kesteven District Council.

A spokesman said: “Our grounds maintenance contractors Glendale have been contacted on the footpaths and were on site on December 8 to assess the work required to cut back the hedgerows.”