My view is going to be RUINED after the council planted trees outside my house… they didn’t ask for my permission

A COUNCIL who planted a number of trees outside a woman’s will ruin her view, she claims.

Helen Rutherford raised concerns after Sandhurst Parish Council planted an assortment of new trees and says they did not consult with her or locals.

She told Kent Online: "We were never consulted, they didn’t reach out to us at all, poke a letter through the door, nothing.

"The council told me that I should have attended the parish meeting to have been informed about their plans.

"I am extremely busy working, caring for my father and living my life so do not have time to attend these."

Ms Rutherford has lived in the village of Sandhurst, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, for nine years and has enjoyed the view of the green and clock tower which sits behind her home and is part of the Sandhurst Conservation Area.

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But she warned that the trees are likely to threaten her views as they begin to grow.

Ms Rutherford said: "The green will be completely blocked, as the trees will grow to the height of my house.

"Light into my home will be reduced dramatically, my garden cast into shade and my view of the sunset will disappear.

"I bought my house because of the light which it enjoys and the view over the green. Several people have also mentioned that the view of the clock tower will be blocked."

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Other local have also aired their concerns about the trees to Ms Rutherford.

She added: "Having spoken to everyone who lives on the green, the unanimous opinion is that we all like trees but feel that we should have been involved in the decision as to whether, where and how they are planted and the type of trees.

Other villagers got in contact after she put a post up on social media.

One of those that responded was Maggie McCormack, who according to her profile on the social media site Nextdoor, is also from Sandhurst.

She wrote: "Definitely agree. How thoughtless of the council to have them planted along that path for the very reasons you gave! There should have been a village survey."

Ms Rutherford though said the concerns were more than just her view being spoiled but the trees could cause other issues.

She feared that because there is an existing hedge running alongside where the trees are it will create a “completely dark tunnel” and become a security issue.

Ms Rutherford said: "I live on my own and it’s quite worrying going out in the dark. My gate backs onto the path so when it’s really dark anyone could be lurking out of the hedge and I wouldn’t be able to see them.

She added that the trees will also bear fruit and are deciduous and the path could become slippery causing a safety concern for users.

Plans to plant trees in the area were originally discussed three years ago, according to Ms Rutherford, and she was originally on board with the idea.

She said: "After that the parish council consulted the horticultural society but apparently, they’ve just completely ignored what they said and the chairman went off and bought whatever he fancied from the local nursery."

Sandhurst Parish Council declined to comment.

To further her cause, Ms Rutherford has set up a petition and is hoping to gain 100 signatures but said she is open to finding a compromise to address the issue.

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She proposes the trees are planted along Back Road to hide the parked cars there while also allowing debris from the trees to fall onto the green and not the pathway.

The next council meeting is due to be held on Tuesday.

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