District and Town Councillor, Stephen Hicks has been left disgusted by the corporate vandalism of an ancient hedgerow in Motts Land, to make way for a new industrial estate building.

The plans of the application show that there is no permission sought or given to destroy the land from a desirable housing estate to an industrial area of Witham.

Stephen said: “Every time a major corporate development, be it housing or industrial is given the green light from planning officers for massive projects such as this, the protection of established greenery is deemed a side effect of so-called progress.

“Town and District Councillors in control of planning applications need to take action at first stages of planning applications to ensure the future of established ancient hedgerows are not destroyed, otherwise we will lose the character of our towns and villages.”

Witham North county councillor James Abbott, who is also leader of the Green and Independent party on Braintree Council said: "I have alerted Braintree Council about this and they have done nothing whatsoever.

"It's an absolute tragedy and there is no need to go ripping up hedges like that.

"The main question here is has the developer stuck to the plans and why have the council just allowed this to happen?

"This is the same council which declared a climate emergency not long ago.

"I have no problem with them wanting to build something like this but they have to respect the countryside and what is already there.

"This lane has been here for hundreds of years and has the characteristics of an ancient land. It should have been respected but instead they have just ripped up a hedge for no good reason."

A Braintree District Council spokesperson, said: "Our planning and landscapes teams have recently visited the site to review what works and had been carried out and can confirm the trees that have been removed were authorised to be removed as part of the planning process.

"It is important to note that the first photo in Councillor Abbott's tweet relates to a separate area of Motts Land- this is not next to or part of the development. It gives the impression that the photo was taken before the development works began, however this is not the case and no trees have been removed from this specific area of Motts Lane.

Once the building works to the new unit have been completed, grass and wildflower seed fix will be planted to reinstate and enhance the character of the area."