Oakley Vale residents in Corby left unhappy after council cut down trees behind their homes

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The trees that line their rear boundary fence provide privacy and shelter for wildlife

Residents in Corby’s Oakley Vale have been left unhappy after North Northamptonshire Council took the decision to cut down trees behind their homes.

A number of Residents in Cartmel Drive, Corby, were left feeling frustrated after they had come home to find an appointed contractor of NNC who had been instructed to destroy trees and hedges to the rear of their properties.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The trees that line the rear boundary fence give privacy from the adjacent Lyveden Way and provide nesting and shelter for regular wildlife.

The residents next to what remains of the trees taken during Cllr Leanne Buckingham's visit to the siteThe residents next to what remains of the trees taken during Cllr Leanne Buckingham's visit to the site
The residents next to what remains of the trees taken during Cllr Leanne Buckingham's visit to the site

James London, a resident of Cartmel Drive said: “We had no notification at all of it.

“We knew nothing about it. The contractor said that they should have informed us, the council said no, they have no reason to inform us. We’ve gone backwards and forwards a few times with them.

“We’ve had five or six residents complain and they’ve said they’ll cease until they’ve done their due diligence but the trees at the back of the house, two properties have been completely taken down below fence level, so there's pretty much nothing left at all.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

According to James, one of his neighbours was told by the contractor that the council had received formal notification of potential legal action from an undisclosed resident that the trees may cause or are causing damage to their property.

What the trees looked like prior to being cut. Credit: GoogleWhat the trees looked like prior to being cut. Credit: Google
What the trees looked like prior to being cut. Credit: Google

James said: “The council have taken their choice with no thought or correspondence to any other residents for these works and what the effects these works will have.

“They are carrying out these works to mitigate any further legal action against the council. They are stating that all trees and hedges are the council property/responsibility and will all be removed and or cut back.”

Cllr Leanne Buckingham, a North Northamptonshire Labour Councillor for the Oakley Ward, has been out to visit the residents of Cartmel Drive and seen the situation for herself.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “I think it’s a blessing that the residents of Cartmel Drive are so close. The start of the hedgerow on Lyveden that backs onto Cartmel Drive has been decimated. Thanks to the swift action of one of the resident who stopped the contactors, this situation is not as bad as it could’ve been.

“The residents have done a wonderful job of pulling a lot of evidence together which has really given me what I need to hold the council to account. The residents, and I believe that the wrong bushes have been cut down, based on the council’s reasoning for the bushes needing to be reduced in size.

“They state that there is a walkway that needed to be maintained. We believe the bush which they speak of is one that runs perpendicular to this hedge line.

“The council states that the contractor has worked outside of the remit requested. But what I want to know is how these wrongs can be corrected, giving back the privacy and security to these gardens as soon as possible.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cllr Matt Binley (Con, Queensway), North Northamptonshire Council's Executive Member for Highways said: “The hedge predates all development on the site, marking the edge of what was farmland and is mainly Hawthorn and bramble with interspersed trees. The hedge does not form the property boundary to the adjoining houses and was not planted as a noise barrier or as a privacy screen. It has grown too tall for normal hedge management methods, which in the countryside normally entails flailing and/or hedge laying. It will continue to grow outwards, which increases the risk of damage to surrounding properties and fencing.

“A hedge is a dynamic entity and will always be trying to develop into a line of trees through natural succession. The work was intended to preserve the hedge by reducing its height and width to a more manageable size and prevent further damage to the nearby garden fences. The council would not usually notify properties within an area that work of this type is to be undertaken, but is reviewing internal processes on how, where and to whom we communicate future maintenance programmes, so that the reasons for maintenance work are understood in advance.

“The council manages several areas on the Oakley Vale estate, alongside partner agencies, and to protect the newt habitat, the chippings from the works are due to be returned to the bottom of the hedge line which will increase opportunities for hibernating amphibians. To protect the local bird population, hedge works are implemented outside of the nesting season, which restricts hedge cutting from March through to September.

“Following feedback from residents, we have paused any further works to reduce the height of the hedge whilst other options for maintaining the hedge are explored.”