Gran's horror as developer's digger rips out 20ft hedge by her home

Grandmother’s horror as developer’s digger rips out 20ft hedge outside her home to leave her with view of ‘big ugly’ site where they are building 135 houses

  • Jeanette Reid, 60, left in tears after developers tore down her beloved hedge
  • She and and husband Nigel, 61, had lovingly maintained it for two decades
  • Grandmother-of-three now sees building site from her Northamptonshire home

A furious grandmother has blasted developers who ripped out a 20ft-high hedge from outside her home, leaving her with a view of a ‘big ugly’ building site.

Jeanette Reid, 60, was gutted when she saw a digger tearing down the shrubbery that she and husband Nigel, 61, had lovingly maintained for 22 years. 

Grandmother-of-three Jeanette now opens her bedroom window and can see straight onto the site of the sprawling Avant Homes estate, where 135 homes are being built. 

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

Jeanette Reid, 60, was deeply upset when she saw a digger tearing down the shrubbery that she and husband Nigel, 61, had lovingly maintained for 22 years

Her beloved hedge (left) was torn down by a developer’s digger, leaving her with a view of a construction site (right)

She had tended to the massive 20-foot hedge for more than two decades with her husband Nigel

The beautiful hedge was torn down and now resembles a wasteland of debris with tree stumps jutting from the earth

Jeanette and Nigel 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 said the developers removed the hedge without seeking planning permission and council officials have launched an investigation.

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

The grandmother-of-three was not pleased at the result and said she cried when she saw what happened

Her view now consists of a ‘big, ugly’ construction site called Avant Homes, where 135 houses are being built

Construction workers using drills and diggers now populate the view from her bedroom window

‘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.’

Before the hedge was cut down it had provided residence with a noise buffer from the building work

Now there is no such barrier and she can all the work going on to construct the 135 homes

She said that builders are only meant to start work at 8am but arrive 45 minutes early with large lorries 

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

She said: ‘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.’

North Northamptonshire Council said in a statement: ‘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.’

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