Thursday, 16 July 2009

Council will carry out tree work in Grove Wood & Blackberry Hill

Snuff Mills Action Group has received the following communication regarding the tree works to be carried out in Grove Wood and on Blackberry Hill. SMAG fully supports the council in this matter and we applaud them for taking control of the situation.

"On the 15th May 2009 a Highway Enforcement Notice under section 154 of the Highways Act was served on the owners of Grove Wood. The notice required the removal of the overhanging tree obstruction on the Broom Hill / Blackberry Hill highway and also the removal of fallen trees from the Public Right of Way No 153 running through Grove Wood.

To date, no works have been carried out by the owner.

As a result council arboricultural contractors have been instructed to carry out the works commencing on Wednesday 22nd July. An ecological survey will be carried out prior to the works, and an ecologist will also be in attendance during the treeworks to oversee the species protection issues.

An application to complete the works has been made to the Council's Planning department, Application No 09/01588/VD."


The work began on 22/7/09 and is now complete.


Martyn said...

There seem to be very few people commenting on this issue anymore. Is this because the Council forced SMAG to monitor its blog? Whatever happened to our freedom of speach?

stevem said...

We are moderating posts on this blog at present but we do try to publish everything that is not inflammatory. No negative comments have been received concerning the proposals to reduce the H&S risks along Blackberry Hill or for the clearance of the lower footpath in Grove Wood. I think this is because most people believe what is being proposed is a proportionate response to the Health and Safety risks to cyclists and road users caused by the overhanging trees and we all want to see the lower footpath cleared and made safe for walkers too.

The Council has not forced SMAG to monitor its blog, we decided to moderate it ourselves. We do try to publish all of the comments we receive, but where an issue is very sensitive, such as the current court case, we have had to reject some comments. This is because the judgement has yet to be handed down by the judge and so they were a little premature.

Andrew H said...

Could it just be people haven't posted any comments on this subject?

I think someone is being paranoid for no reason. I thought SMAG made it's own decisions on what it monitors on it's blog or have I missed something?

Unknown said...

Paranoia seems to be the order of the day, Andy. Martyn, it's a bit dramatic to suggest SMAG or the BCC is stifling free speech just because nobody's seen fit to comment on this blog.

Martyn said...

Why would the Highways Agency prune the trees so the Council can assess the works required when a detailed schedule was produced weeks ago? Perhaps the Highways Agency cleared the branches which were causing most obstruction to cyclists and pedestrians but are leaving the major works to the Council who have to do the work on behalf of the landowner. It would be really good to know who did the pruning on 6th July and why it was done, without any further speculations.

Andrew .H said...

I could be wrong, but I am pretty certain somebody attacked the overhanging branches in the same way last year. I am sure somebody told me they had witnessed a cyclist having a go at the branches. This years pruning was probably done by a disgruntled cyclist or walker..... I have heard a couple of locals complain that somebody could have their eye out due to the branches. The Highway agency are not responsible for things like this.

Martyn said...

The pruning on 6th July was very professional as the branches were cleanly cut with the overall visual amenity in mind - hence the praise for the work.

You are right though, there are locals who take it upon themselves to hack off branches, leaving poor visual amenity and horrible torn ends. This was done at the Wickham Weir footbridge and someone was seen cutting branches for their own use last year.

Unknown said...

Wickham bridge was cleared of ash seedlings growing out of the stonework in preparation for renovation now in progress. It would be really helpful if the council could put up signs attributing work to the agency/department carrying out operaions, to take the guesswork out of who's doing what. I think historically people have always helped themselves to wood or done bits of clearing themselves regardless of any laws/rules/orders in place. There's only so much monitoring that can be done.