Gran livid after developers rip 20ft hedge next to her home she looked after for 22 years

A gran is livid after developers ripped a 20ft-high hedge from outside her home she had lovingly maintained for 22 years.

Jeanette Reid was gutted when she saw a digger tearing down the shrubbery which she and husband Nigel had nurtured.

Now the couple have a 135-house building site directly opposite their home.

Builders tore out the 20ft-high hedge outside their front door in Desborough, Northamptonshire, last month.

Gran-of-three Jeanette, 60, now opens her bedroom window and can see straight onto the site of the sprawling Avant Homes estate.

Jeanette and Nigel, 61, moved into their four-bedroom detached house in 2000 and the couple have cared for the hedge ever since.

She said: “We had a range of wildlife in there including foxes and birds. The noise from the birds when the builders cut it down was just awful.

“Some of it was on our boundary, it runs through half of the hedge, so in my view it’s technically half ours.

“A man arrived with a digger that chopped down trees and hedges and I went down and stopped him and told him the hedge was ours.

“The young lad did stop and they agreed to stop and take the building site side out.

“They then just ripped it out and left us with a bunch of sticks basically, it did look awful.

“Now from every window in the front of the house we have to stare at a big ugly building site.”

She claims the developers removed the hedge without seeking planning permission
and council officials have launched an investigation.

Jeanette, who formerly worked in local government, added: “The original planning application that was approved stated that all the hedges were to be retained.

“As far as we were concerned the hedges were staying.

“I was really upset, I cried. We’ve lived here 22 years it’s part of our garden.

“We’ve always looked out to this greenery. The little boy next door cried.

“The noise of the chopping the tree’s down was awful.

“Most building sites have boarding around them but we have nothing.

“We’ve got nothing to stop us from reversing off the drive.

“They’ve got no respect for us, our security and our privacy have been breached.

“We’re not against development but it’s just the lack of respect for residents. They do what they like.”

Jeanette also says building work is starting earlier than the developers claimed and their road is often blocked with large lorries first thing in the morning.

She added: “They’re not supposed to start work until 8am, but they start at 7.15am and they queue up at our close and drive their lorries onto the road by our homes.

“They’ve left us with nothing but a building site to look at. The hedges acted as a noise barrier but we don’t even have that now.

“We reported it and we regularly email the council but we get no response.

“We’re a small close of 12 houses. We’ve all got our heads around the development but we’re all upset at the lack of respect from the builders.

“People are upset to the damage of the environment. It’s caused a lot of bad feelings.
“It’s down to the council but they aren’t doing anything.”

A spokesperson for Avant Homes said: “The temporary mesh fencing is within our boundary to protect a newt barrier, which runs along the edge of the site, from construction works.

“In line with our planning approval, a permanent fence will later be installed along the legal boundary of the site.”

A spokesman for North Northamptonshire Council said: “This is a live enforcement investigation by the council’s planning enforcement team.

“Under the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to make further comment, as the council would not wish to prejudice the investigation.”