Letter: Environment - No defence over hedgerows row

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I thank this newspaper for publishing the behaviour of Persimmon Homes in destroying a long length of hedgerow along the southern end of their Penny Pot Lane housing development.

Clearly a small section needed taking out to provide the one and only access, but not almost all of it!

From what I read in this newspaper, Persimmon Homes offer no defence of their actions.

The hedgerow, except for the access point, is no problem for the development.

Looking at their plans, under application ref 17/00646/REMMAJ for the southern end of the site, you will see that a planting belt is proposed that includes the hedgerow.

Twelve trees are marked on this boundary, only two of which were due to be felled. Far from the hedgerow being a problem, an enhanced buffer is planned!

Persimmon Homes say they consulted an ecologist, but I would put the simple question to any ecologist – which is better, a hedgerow with mature trees or no such hedgerow?

When Persimmon say that they were going to net the hedgerow to stop birds nesting, why net a hedgerow that was supposed to be retained?

It was noted by your correspondent Phil Hodgson, who lives close to the site, that the hedgerow supports or is of benefit to a multitude of wildlife.

In relation to the outline planning consent, the council conservation and design officer said that large trees were required to reduce visual impact from the countryside in this exposed location to provide a soft edge.

There were some there to start with, which would have helped screen the road for the benefit of residents of the development.

Condition five of the outline consent said that there should be no movement of construction or other vehicles between the highway and the application site until 20m of the access road is made up.

Vehicles have entered the site already to remove the hedgerow and churned part of the site into a quagmire.

Henry Pankhurst

Chairman,

Harrogate Civic Society