Neighbours furious as conifer trees protecting their privacy get the chop

Neighbours are exasperated after a row of dense, 20-foot conifer trees formerly shielding their homes from the bright lights of a trucking company were torn down. People living on School Lane in Sprowston opposite an industrial estate have slammed the owner of Norfolk Truck & Van Limited for getting rid of the “only thing” maintaining their privacy. Now, they say the lights blare through their windows all through the night.

The company belongs to the landowner, Peter Colby Commercials, which Broadland District Council confirmed was responsible for giving the hedges the chop. Both Norfolk Truck & Van Limited and its parent company have been contacted for comment, but did not respond.

Previously, dense hedging blocked the lights from shining into people's homes

Previously, dense hedging on School Lane blocked the lights from shining into people’s homes – Credit: Google

Now that the hedges have been removed, there is no buffer for people living on the opposite side of School Lane

Now that the hedges have been removed, there is no buffer for people living on the opposite side of School Lane – Credit: Derek Wright


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It appears the trees have been removed to create space at the boundary of the property so that Norfolk Truck & Van’s car parking capacity can be extended. Richard and Elizabeth Pearce, who live directly opposite the building on School Lane with their young son and daughter, say the trees were removed without warning back in June. Mr Pearce, 41, said: “We’ve lived here for four years and it’s never been a problem before because that dense hedging gave us a buffer.

The light pollution in the Pearce household on an evening is becoming intense, said Ricard Pearce

The light pollution in the Pearce household on an evening is becoming intense, said Ricard Pearce – Credit: Elizabeth Pearce

“Our house is on a slope of sorts, so now the lights blare into my son’s bedroom pretty much at eye-level. “I know they can’t put the hedges back, but all we’re asking is that the lights be turned off or dimmed at night. There’s no need for them to be on practically 24 hours a day.”

Derek Wright, 75, lives nearby on Neville Close.

Derek Wright

Derek Wright said he had blackout blinds installed which made the problem far more manageable, but didn’t know how people living directly opposite could cope with the light pollution – Credit: Derek Wright He explained that his house wasn’t as badly affected as others after he had blackout blinds installed, but he could see that loss of the hedging would turn his neighbours’ houses into “Blackpool Illuminations” come nightfall. He added: “An industrial park in an entirely residential area should never have been agreed in the first place.”

A spokesman for Broadland District Council explained that, given the site was not in a conservation area, the landowner did not need planning permission to cut down the hedge.

But he said if people formally complain about the lights, and it is considered a statutory nuisance, an abatement notice will be served on the company causing the problem.