'Stop harassing us over hedges' - Man tells Islington Council

The offending - or perhaps unoffending - hedge 

The offending - or perhaps unoffending - hedge - Credit: Matt Kelly

A row over a hedge being cut back has led to a resident calling out Islington Council for “harassing its taxpayers over non-problems”.

Matt Kelly hit out when the authority told him he would need to cut back the hedge of his property in Lucerne Road to 8cm. 

The council has said this is to stop obstruction. But Mr Kelly said such a trim would kill the hedge which is not causing a problem anyway. 

“There is a wide pavement outside our house,” he wrote. “I have measured our hedge and at its worst, it is 20cms over the pavement. It presents absolutely no impediment to anyone.

“Meanwhile, on Blackstock Road, the number of paving slabs that are sticking up into the pavement and presenting a serious trip risk is ridiculous. As are the multiple potholes in the streets.”

Mr Kelly signed off by telling the council he would not be cutting back the hedge. He also invited an officer to come and inspect it. 

He added: “I am stunned that the council has the resources to harass its taxpayers over non-problems while it is itself conspicuously failing to protect the public from the claimed dangers.”

Most Read

An Islington Council statement offered: “We’re committed to ensuring that all our pavements are accessible for all, especially for people with disabilities and mobility issues.

“Hedges support biodiversity, and help improve our environment, but overhanging hedges and branches can cause an obstruction. 

“We regularly receive complaints and concerns from residents who have faced issues with overgrown hedges and other foliage, which can get in the way and create significant obstructions for some disabled people, especially people with visual impairments.

“If a hedge is causing an obstruction, we will contact the property owner and ask them to cut it back.

“We regularly inspect our footways and pavements for trip hazards, and if residents give us details of specific areas of concern we will look into them.”

Mr Kelly’s full letter will be published in the Islington Gazette.