Welwyn Garden City tree policy in the spotlight

PUBLISHED: 15:02 27 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:02 27 March 2014

Theresa Rowell by the trees

Theresa Rowell by the trees

Archant

A Welwyn Garden City woman has accused the borough council of double standards for refusing to trim trees that block sunlight into her garden.

Theresa Rowell of Daniells told the Welwyn Hatfield Times the council’s refusal to lower the height of trees shading her back garden was unfair, because it had asked her mother to cut down a hedge in her own garden.

She said: “The council wrote to my mother asking her to cut down her hedge because it was too high, but when asking the council to do likewise it is a very different story altogether.

“Nobody is listening to me and I really do feel that I am not asking too much.”

When Mrs Rowell moved to her home 20 years ago, she had plenty of sunlight, but now the council’s nearby trees have grown they restrict her to just a few hours a day.

A spokeswoman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said it would only ask someone to cut vegetation that was obstructing a road or encroaching on another property, not because of light.

She said: “The council is sensitive to the wishes of residents, but equally aims to protect and retain healthy trees within the borough, prioritising the works carried out to trees within its control.

“The council consulted last year on its Tree Strategy, which confirms we assess trees every three years to ensure that work is carried out to decayed trees and any which may be damaging or touching properties.

“However, the council does not carry out works to its trees to increase sunlight or clear views.”

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