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Pavement Encroachment Along The Street

Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council (SMPC) are aware of and share the concerns of residents regarding the brambles and other vegetation encroaching onto the pavement down The Street. This has been an ongoing problem for some years and both West Berkshire Council (WBC) and landowners have been approached in the past. As has been stated on Facebook, the cutting of hedges growing on private land is the responsibility of the landowners and the maintenance of the pavement is the responsibility of WBC.

The public consultation in early 2020 proposed that (among other ideas) the Parish Council should put some money into getting this problem sorted.  Covid has caused delays to this, as everything else. But earlier this year SMPC started working with WBC on a solution. The stretch of The Street from the War Memorial to Pitfield Lane has been mapped in detail, including utilities and other obstacles. The aim is to provide a clear pavement 1.8m wide wherever possible. To do this vegetation will be cut back and grubbed out up to 2m from the kerb. Where there is encroaching build up of soil within that distance it will be removed. There will still be a few pinch points where utility poles are within that distance from the kerb and the relocation of which would be prohibitively expensive.

WBC has produced estimates for this work and this week agreement has been reached as to how much SMPC are contributing to the cost of the project. It is expected WBC will carry out this work later this year – SMPC are pressing them to do so as quickly as possible and as soon as the bird nesting season allows. 

SMPC has also requested that WBC cut off the brambles etc. that are currently blocking the path, as they pose a significant danger to pedestrians. WBC has today confirmed that although it is not WBC’s responsibility, given the circumstances, their contractors will undertake a cut back of the brambles next week. 

Residents should have a look at their own hedges which border roads or pavements as they are responsible for the cutting of these. The law requires everyone not to disturb nesting birds, so the recommendation is not to cut hedges until the end of August.  If, however, your hedge contains protruding brambles or branches etc. which pose a danger to the public, you should consider cutting these now.