Anger as hedge is cut down on new town homes site

John Sayers and Jill Fisher in front of the Bellway new development in Harps Meadow. Developers have dramatically cut the hedge and they are not happy about it ANL-150615-193608009
John Sayers and Jill Fisher in front of the Bellway new development in Harps Meadow. Developers have dramatically cut the hedge and they are not happy about it ANL-150615-193608009

Town councillor John Sayers and Sudbury tree warden Jill Fisher have expressed their concern about the lopping of a hedge on the People’s Park homes site.

Mrs Fisher said workmen cut down a large length of bramble hedge, bordering the Waldingfield Road site, on Thursday morning reducing the height of it by half.

She said a “distressed” member of the public had reported the incident to her and it had been reported to the council.

“We’ve lost another bramble hedge, which is a great source of food for the birds,” said Mrs Fisher.

“It is commonly known that you do not cut hedges from the end of March until the end of July because of the bird nesting season. Why couldn’t it have been left until then?”

Mrs Fisher, who founded the People’s Park Preservation Association to try and stop the land from being built on - firstly as a hospital and then as homes - added: “I cannot believe the hedge didn’t contain any wildlife. The birds have been deprived of a whole hedgerow.”

Developer Bellway bought the site from West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and plans to build 100 homes.

John Sayers, Sudbury town and Suffolk county councillor said the hedge had been halved in size following work carried out by Bellway.

He said: “I am passionate about wildlife and we are seeing more and more habitats being eroded.

“I really wonder why they found it necessary to cut down this self-sown old hedge without waiting for the nesting season to finish?

“These are rough old hedges but they have got a lot of appeal for birds who want to nest there, and it is also a habitat for insects.

“I think it is totally out of order and irresponsible for them to have done this,” he added

A spokeswoman for Bellway said the company had done a survey and determined it would not do any harm to wildlife to cut the hedge.

She said as well as pruning the hedge, workmen had cut grass, strimmed nettles cut down two small trees in preparation for work to start on the development.

She said: “A council officer inspected the site afterwards and they were happy that what we had done was permissable.”

A spokeswoman for Babergh District Council said an assistant aboricultural officer had visited the site, and saw the work. He confirmed it was pruning and strimming and cutting back of brambles, ivy and non-woody vegetation on the developer’s land.