A housing developer has been criticised for illegally removing hedgerows in a bid to extend its site.
Martin Clark said he was shocked to see workmen at Bellway Homes’ Earsdon View site removing large sections of hedgerow.
Even if they had planning permission they should not have touched the hedges as it is nesting season.Martin Clark
He had been out walking his dogs when he saw the incident, contacting the site manager and North Tyneside Council in a bid to stop more of the hedges being destroyed.
Mr Clark, who lives in Earsdon View, said: “According to the plans, the boundary should be ten metres in front of the hedgerow, but they were pulling it out.
“Even if they had planning permission they should not have touched the hedges as it is nesting season.
“They have pulled out 150 metres of hedgerow. If I hadn’t have been out walking my dogs at that time, no one would have noticed and who knows, maybe the whole hedgerow would have been removed.
“When I spoke to the council, the enforcement officer jumped on it immediately but most of the damage had been done.”
A Bellway spokesperson said: “Following a certified ecologist’s environmental report to ascertain whether birds were nesting in the area, we were granted permission to remove a section of scrub.
“Operating under the advice and guidance of ecologists, works were undertaken safe in the knowledge that this was done without risk to wildlife.
“The work was undertaken by a specialist third party on our behalf and it has since been brought to our attention that sections of the scrub may have been effected outside of our boundary area.
“We are investigating this and are working closely with the local authority. Should it be determined that an error was made on behalf of an over-enthusiastic contractor, then we will of course seek to remedy this in line with the desires of the local council.”