by adamboyden on 25 August, 2021
My response to the application for hedgerow removal to the north of Packsaddle Way, Frome, ref. 2021/1839/HDG (see link to the application here), is below:
I wish to object to the application for hedgerow removal at land at Packsaddle Way, Frome, ref. 2021/1839/HDG, as one of the ward councillors for the adjacent Frome College ward (the site is just inside Market ward).
The applicant wishes to remove two stretches of 217m and the adjoining 43m, a total of 477m of hedgerow to ‘make the fields larger for modern machinery’. This will cause a substantial change to and impact on the historic landscape character, and potentially to wildlife in the area.
Under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 the local authority can only refuse permission if the hedgerow is ‘important’ under the Regulations, i.e. if it has (a) existed for 30 years or more; and (b) satisfies at least one of the criteria listed in Part II of Schedule 1 to the Regulations.
The application states that the hedgerow is at least 30 years old, but no information is submitted with the application to be able to determine if it is important under part (b) under archaeology and history, or wildlife and landscape criteria. I understand the field pattern and hedgerows here are of significant historic landscape interest. The hedgerow is shown as a boundary on the 1887-1889 OS Somerset county map. Removal of this much hedgerow in this area would be unacceptably harmful to the valued historic landscape, and I cannot see how it could be justified.
A full assessment must be carried out to assess the hedgerow’s potential importance under the Regulations. Please can ensure this is undertaken. I would be interested to see the responses from the County Ecologist, Historic Environment Service and SERC.
Update, October 2021: Mendip District Council has refused an application to remove the hedgerows, and is issuing a Hedgerow Retention Notice, ‘to prevent the loss of hedgerow(s) that are “important” under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 due to their historic / landscape value’. The hedgerows were found to ‘form an integral part of a pre-Parliamentary enclosure field system, are present on Tithe maps of c.1840 and their pattern relates to a medieval open field cultivation, strip fields or ridge and furrow ploughing.’ (see refusal notice and case officer’s report here). I highlighted the importance of this hedgerow in an objection last month, as did several other residents and councillors.1 Comment