Fears bushy hedge in Fishbourne ‘could lead to a serious accident’

Overgrown - Ian Jack alongside the dangerous hedge.''C121415-1 Chi Danger Hedge  Photo Louise Adams
Overgrown - Ian Jack alongside the dangerous hedge.''C121415-1 Chi Danger Hedge Photo Louise Adams

AN EXASPERATED resident has spoken of his frustration after nearly knocking over a child because of a badly overgrown hedge on council-owned land.

Ian Jack, who lives in Blackboy Lane, Fishbourne, has lodged numerous complaints with West Sussex County Council, and even had an on-site visit, but no action has been taken to cut the hedge outside his home.

Last week, Mr Jack said he came close to knocking a child down with his car as he was exiting his driveway.

“I despair as to what to do,” he said.

“Must I wait for an accident before the council will take action, and the police take action against me, no doubt?

“There was a similar situation near here, at the junction of Salthill Lane and the Funtington Road.

“It took a serious accident there before overgrown vegetation was trimmed.”

Mr Jack said he was upset the council had not taken action sooner.

“I am very disappointed by the actions, or rather lack of action from the council officers and my councillor,” he said.

“Not only does it block my visibility but it is also an inconvenience for pedestrians with push chairs or mobility scooters. For well over a year, I have been asking the county council to cut back this hedge – or even remove it completely – but, alas, to no avail. In the past I have cut back this hedge myself but increased growth, increased age, and a lack of suitable tools make this difficult for me.”

Kieran Stigant, chief executive of West Sussex County Council, said the council will now make the work on the hedge a priority.

He told Mr Jack: “I do acknowledge that you have been in contact with the council over an extended period with your concerns, for which I would like to apologise, but I hope that we are now close to a resolution.

“I have asked my officers to ensure that the hedge is regularly maintained to prevent such situations occurring again and also to investigate the possibility of removing the hedge completely.”