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Essex Highways should act on overhanging vegetation

July 20, 2020 8:24 AM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats

Overgrown verge / grass / weedsTrees, shrubs and hedges are overhanging pavements and causing a hazard to pedestrians, especially those with mobility or sight issues. Cllr Stephen Robinson has received a number of such reports in the last few weeks. Cllr. Robinson recently challenged the Essex County Council Cabinet Member on the Essex Highways policy for cutting back vegetation overhanging the highway from adjacent, non-highway land.

Essex CC has power under the Highways Act 1980 to do such work and recharge the owner. But seems reluctant to do so.

The Cabinet Member said, "Landowners are responsible for trees and hedges on their land and should ensure that their trees and hedges are not overhanging or causing a problem on the highway. Where overhanging vegetation is a problem Essex Highways would encourage local Parish, City, District, and Borough Councils to inform the landowner, as they will know who that is.

Where a problem is long-standing then Essex Highways is able to write to the landowner if they are known but it is better that it is dealt with at the local level.'