Dogs Grooming

Gran defies order to cut again ‘liked’ shrubs after council guidelines they’re harmful


A gran is defying an order to cut again shrubs in her backyard after her native council dominated they had been “a well being and security” hazard.

Becky Curtis, 84, recurrently will get admiring feedback from neighbours and passers-by who’re impressed by the vegetation exterior her rambling 18th century residence within the Constable Nation village of Dedham, Essex.

However plentiful rain in latest weeks has led to the foliage spilling over her 30 inch excessive wall and on to the pavement somewhat greater than has been the case in earlier years.

Inexperienced-fingered Mrs Curtis who was born in her 18th century residence insisted that there was nonetheless a 3 foot hole which was away from any obstruction, enabling individuals to stroll previous with none drawback.

However Dedham parish council has dominated that her outsize balotta, acanthus and choiysa vegetation are a possible hazard and should be urgently in the reduction of to clear the footpath in entrance of her south-facing backyard.

Mrs Curtis was shocked to obtain a letter from the council clerk telling her that “numerous complaints” had been acquired about vegetation “encroaching on to the pavement”.

Becky Curtis recurrently will get admiring feedback from these impressed by the vegetation exterior her residence
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Picture:

East Anglia Information Service)

The letter tersely requested: “Please are you able to in the reduction of the overhanging vegetation in order to not hinder the pavement for pedestrians. Thanks in your co-operation with this.”

Mrs Curtis who had horticultural coaching within the Nineteen Fifties is resisting the demand with the assist of many villagers.

She fears that any massive scale pruning will deprive native bumble bees of their annual feast on the pink flowers of her two large balotta vegetation after they bloom later in the summertime.

Mrs Curtis stated: “I all the time in the reduction of the balotta as laborious as I can with out killing it each Autumn, and I do not see why I ought to do it earlier than it has even flowered. We should do what we will to assist the bees.

“I used to be fairly shocked to obtain the letter saying the council had acquired complaints. They did not say what number of complaints. I assume it would solely have been one individual.

“I spoke to a woman from the council, and she or he advised me that I needed to comply because it was a well being and security subject.

A poem written in assist of the shrubs within the backyard of Becky Curtis in Dedham, Essex,
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Picture:

East Anglia Information Service)

“I used to be advised that if anyone had two kids and a push chair and a canine they may discover it tough to go.

“However the extra I considered it, the much less I needed to do it as a result of it should simply look horrible if I lower it again now, so I’m going to go away it for the second.

“I do not need to do something except I’m completely compelled to. I do not need to make the village look dreary.

“Everybody I’ve spoken to is completely supportive and believes that the council is speaking garbage.

“Individuals are unsure if the parish council really has the facility to power me to do something.

“The woman from the council advised me that there wanted to be room for individuals with prams and canine to stroll previous, however there’s nonetheless loads of area on the pavement.

Walkers negotiate their manner throughout the pavement exterior Becky Curtis’ residence which is partially blocked by outsize shrubs
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Picture:

East Anglia Information Service)

“I’m a bit caught as a result of the council will likely be livid if I do nothing, and if I lower it again then individuals will say, ‘Why did you do this?’ “

Mrs Curtis, a widowed mother-of-two with 5 grandchildren, grew up in her historic household residence within the village Excessive Road earlier than shifting out after which returning round 50-years-ago after she had been married for 5 years.

She planted her array of shrubs in her entrance backyard round 30-years-ago so as to add to the magnificent show of the wisteria which has grown up the Georgian frontage of her home for greater than 100 years.

Mrs Curtis, a protracted standing member of the Dedham Horticultural Society, added: “Individuals all the time cease and ask me concerning the backyard, and need to know the names of the vegetation. Most individuals appear to assume it is rather good.

“The vegetation have all the time grown over my wall, however they’re simply six or seven inches additional out on to the pavement this yr as a result of they’ve grown larger and larger with the entire rain we have now had.”

Mrs Curtis’ daughter-in-law has written a poem on an indication in assist of her vegetation, and positioned it in her backyard so it may be learn by vacationers who’re interested in Dedham and its surrounding countryside which featured in works by artist John Constable.

The 84-year-old is refusing to chop the shrubs again
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Picture:

East Anglia Information Service)

A customer to the village posted a serviette by means of her door with a handwritten message on it, saying: “We handed your pretty home and loved your entrance backyard. It provides pleasure to the road and sweetness, and helps our air high quality.”

Mrs Curtis’ neighbour Lucy Casey, 45, stated: “The vegetation are stunning and don’t trigger any bother in any respect. Everybody I’ve spoken to thinks the council is loopy.

“It’s ridiculous that they’re being so officious.

“A number of individuals complained concerning the lack of parking for residents who should not have driveways. The council didn’t appear in any respect all for that, however they’re glad to make a fuss about some innocent vegetation.”

Mary Jones, 63, from Purley, Surrey, who was visiting for the day, stated: “It’s a beautiful show. The balotta seems pretty and it could be a disgrace to destroy it now by slicing it again.

“There’s a a great deal of area on the pavement. You may simply get previous in a wheelchair or on a mobility scooter.”

A message of assist written on a serviette and posted by means of the door on the 84-year-old’s residence
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Picture:

East Anglia Information Service)

Dedham parish council clerk Carol Harbach insisted that the council was entitled to take motion over pavement blockages in some instances, however was unable to touch upon what enforcement motion could possibly be taken.

The council stated in an announcement: “We’ve acquired plenty of complaints by different residents and we do not ask individuals except it’s a well being and security matter.

“We’re obliged as a council to undertake these requests to chop again vegetation when it’s overgrown.

“It’s one thing which is obstructing the footpath and we have now an obligation to cope with hedges and hold the footpath protected.”

Becky Curtis’ residence the place the vegetation have been deemed ‘hazardous’ by the authority
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Picture:

East Anglia Information Service)

Colin Biggins, the chairman of the Dedham Horticultural Society, stated: “Becky is a good backyard lover and conservationist who’s one among our lengthy standing members.

“I can see each side of the argument, however we’re terribly danger averse as of late and I feel the council is being excessive.

“Whereas I can perceive the parish council’s standpoint, she is providing to chop her shrubs again as soon as they’ve flowered and the bees have had their fill from the nectar, and I feel that’s honest sufficient.

“There are slim lanes right here which haven’t any footpaths and are very overgrown and they’re way more deserving of the council’s consideration.”

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