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Bury St Edmunds residents and councillor frustrated with overgrown weeds, trees, bushes and loose paving slabs




Bury St Edmunds residents and a councillor have spoken out over their frustration with the persistent issue of overgrown weeds, trees, bushes and loose paving slabs in parts of the town.

On the Mildenhall Road estate, in particular Acacia Avenue, issues have been recurring for years, with some residents taking it upon themselves to trim back overgrown trees and bushes that are blocking pathways, parking spaces, and creating blind spots for car drivers.

Richard Mortlock, 74, chair of Mildenhall Road estate residents’ association, lives in Philip Road near to the Mildenhall Road estate, and said the overgrown trees around the estate were either neglected or seemingly just chopped down completely by authorities.

Richard Mortlock says residents have complained of overgrown trees, weeds in the pavement and gaps in slabs which have caused people to trip and fall.
Richard Mortlock says residents have complained of overgrown trees, weeds in the pavement and gaps in slabs which have caused people to trip and fall.

He said: “If they have a problem with the tree, they seem to just cut it down. That’s not the answer. It’s not acceptable.”

Mr Mortlock said some of the tree growths and bushes protruded on to pathways and had sharp needles on them, creating a danger to families with younger children.

He added: “A lot of the footpaths are in a dangerous condition, as tree root growth has pushed up a lot of the slabs. Some work has been done on the estate, to be fair, but really, more needs to be done.”

Diane Hind, Bury town councillor for the Tollgate area, said she felt the maintenance of the area was not a priority for the county council.

“The problem is that very often it doesn’t meet their ‘intervention criteria’, despite the fact people have fallen and in some cases pavement slabs are lifting,” she said.

“I have been told by one county councillor that treatment of weeds has been downgraded from six monthly to once yearly.”

There are similar issues with weeds blocking drains on Fornham Road, which had issues with flooding in August.

Alan Pitt, who is in his 70s and lives nearby, said residents were ‘angry’ and ‘annoyed’ that there was little to no maintenance going on.

A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said Suffolk Highways undertook maintenance work following routine inspections off the back of reports received from customers and that West Suffolk Council undertook tree works on Suffolk Highways’ behalf or made them aware of works to be done.

They added that on weed treatments, Bury St Edmunds’ programme was ‘currently ongoing’ due to bad weather. To notify the council of issues, visit https://highwaysreporting.suffolk.gov.uk/

A West Suffolk Council spokesperson said they were asked by SCC to survey and then undertake remedial work on their trees in Acacia Avenue.

The survey showed two trees were in poor condition and needed to be removed, and the remainder were pruned.

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