I TAKE this opportunity to respond after reading P L Upson's letter (Times, February 28) regarding the removal of the hedgerow in Western Road.

As most of the residents in Silver End didn't want to see this hedgerow removed, the blame for this does not, however, lie with the district council.

When Gladman, an aggressive developer, submitted its outline planning application for this development the district council opposed the granting of this.

Being well within its rights, Gladman appealed the council's decision and took it to a public inquiry held early 2017.

After a five day public inquiry the Planning Inspector granted that this application to go ahead.

The new development is situated on a 60/30 mph stretch of Western Road, now a very busy thoroughfare, so to create safe access/egress a length of hedgerow has to be removed to allow the recommended safe visibility splays as agreed with the highway authority.

As to whether the amount that has been removed is in excess is another question.

Although the district council opposed the development of this site they have to accept the comments made in the Planning Inspector's appeal decision which states "the substantial hedgerow along the southern border would need to be removed".

I am not an employee, nor have I been, of Braintree Council but do believe it has its hands tied when it comes to planning applications, especially from greedy developers and land owners, spurred on by the flawed methodology used by the government to calculate the country's future housing needs, despite there being vacant brownfield sites and thousands of unoccupied houses/buildings within the country.

Ken McDonald

Bowers Close, Silver End