Furious Sandbanks residents accuse council of ‘setting their upmarket seaside resort on fire’ after hedgerow removal

Outrage Over Drastic Hedgerow Removal in Sandbanks

Furious residents of Sandbanks, an upmarket seaside resort, express anger at the recent actions of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole Council.

The council’s workers faced criticism for what locals are calling a ‘hack job’ in which lush green hedges along a prestigious road known as Millionaires’ Row were severely cut down, leaving only stumps behind.

Differing Perspectives on Council’s Actions

While some residents complained about overgrown foliage scratching their expensive cars, others accused the council of going too far.

The extreme nature of the hedge removal led to claims that the ground now appeared as if it had been ‘set on fire.’

Seafront-facing homes in Sandbanks can fetch as much as £13.5 million, attracting notable figures such as celebrity chef Rick Stein and former football managers Harry Redknapp and Graeme Souness.

Mixed Reactions and Controversy

Council officials defended their actions, citing the necessity of improving sightlines and safety for pedestrians crossing busy roads.

However, reactions among residents were mixed some, like private carer Gill Brooks, found the hedge removal drastic, likening it to a fire, while others, like landscape gardener Bob Smith, commended the council for making the right decision and reassured that the hedges would regrow in six months.

Safety Concerns and Support

Parents with prams welcomed the decision to remove the hedgerows, citing ‘health and safety’ concerns.

They emphasized the danger posed by overgrown hedges, making it difficult for drivers to see children walking near the road.

Despite claims that the council aimed to improve views for exclusive nearby flats, officials denied such motives, emphasizing safety as their primary consideration.

Public Opinions Vary

Local opinions on the council’s actions were diverse some, like career coach Caroline Papp, deemed the hedge removal an eyesore, questioning the extent of the cutback.

Others, such as Sandie Smith and Stephen Allen, praised the decision, highlighting safety hazards that had developed due to the overgrown hedges.

he debate over whether the council’s actions were necessary or excessive remains ongoing.

Council’s Response and Environmental Impact

A spokesperson for BCP Council clarified that the coppicing would not harm wildlife, and regrowth was expected in spring.

The council emphasized that improving residents’ views was not a consideration, and the primary goal was to address safety concerns.

Councillor Andy Hadley explained that the hedgerow removal aimed at enhancing plant health, preventing tangled branches, and promoting dense foliage, with safety considerations for pedestrians and road users playing a significant role.

Recent Controversies in Sandbanks

This incident adds to recent controversies in Sandbanks, including a celebrity interior designer condemning council officials for overlooking an illegal balcony and former football manager Harry Redknapp obtaining permission to build a luxury villa after demolishing his previous home.

The affluent community continues to grapple with a mix of aesthetic and safety concerns, sparking debates over the appropriate balance between preserving the environment and addressing public safety issues.

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