Horsham woman reduced to tears after council orders her to hack away half her tree

A Horsham woman has said the scene of devastation after the council ordered her to cut back her tree left her in tears.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 1:11 pm

Jan Stannard, 56, was distraught after officials said her beloved conifer tree was blocking the pavement and had to face the axe.

She added that a member of the public had complained they couldn’t easily get past prompting the council to order her to trim back her foliage.

But the hedge’s haircut has left the bush looking like a shadow of its former self, and left Jan in tears.

Jan Stannard of Campion Road, Horsham. The hedge at the front of the property has has been cut back and she's unhappy with how it's been left. Pic S Robards SR2108083 SUS-210908-115848001

The retired former teaching assistant said: “It’s just awful. Absolutely awful. I see people walk past my house and I cry.”

Jan maintains that the hedge was always kept very neat thanks to her gardener’s regular attention.

But she said he has now told her the 20ft tall trees won’t recover from the severe trimming – meaning she will have to fork out even more money on replacements to keep her privacy.

She added: “I don’t want anybody to see me walking out my house I’m just so embarrassed by it. We have a nice big hole between the two hedges.

Jan Stannard of Campion Road, Horsham. The hedge at the front of the property has has been cut back and she's unhappy with how it's been left. Pic S Robards SR2108083 SUS-210908-115826001

“It’s not my fault. It’s just soul destroying. My neighbour – he said those conifers have been there 30 years.

“All my neighbours are shocked at what the council have made us do.”

And now Jan has even put up a notice to alert passer’s by that the hedge’s haircut wasn’t her decision.

She said: “We have out a notice on what’s left telling people that this was not our decision and apologies for how dreadful the front of our property looks.”

Jan has put up a notice letting people know the drastic trim wasn't her choice

And Jan’s sign has been picking up interest with one ‘lovely lady’ giving Jan a bouquet of flowers to comfort her.

She added: “A lovely lady who walks by every day knocked on our door yesterday and gave me a beautiful bunch of roses and said how sorry she feels for us which brought me to tears again.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We are sorry if the resident was upset – this was certainly not our intention: the purpose of this advisory letter is to highlight the need for hedge/tree owners to take action to ensure footpaths/roads are kept free from obstruction for the sake of all road and footpath users.“In the case of footpaths, overhanging branches/hedging can be a hazard for pedestrians in general, people with pushchairs, people using mobility aids and the visually impaired in particular. We need and appreciate tree/hedge owners’ help in preventing this type of issue.”