St Erth residents angry over South West Water tree felling
SOUTH WEST WATER (SWW) has been criticised for felling trees which used to block the view of its sewage treatment works from neighbouring homes.
The company said the leylandii had to be removed because they had been damaged by roosting starlings – but St Erth residents are angry the company did not inform them in advance.
Kerry Davis, whose home in Cledma Bank faces the sewage works, said: "They just seem to do whatever they want, when they want. They are a law to themselves really."
Resident Mike Matthews claimed the removal devalued his property by £150,000 as the sewage works looked like "Chernobyl" from his dining room, bedroom, living room and patio. He added: "They said they are going to replant trees next week but it is going to take a decade for them to grow."
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St Erth Parish Council was not told SWW intended to undertake the works. It has referred the matter to Cornwall Council's enforcement section.
A SWW spokesman said the decision was taken "reluctantly" and replanting would start once the area was safe and clear of stumps.
She said: "A large number of starlings have been roosting in the leylandii trees. Unfortunately the birds damaged the trees to such an extent that they were no longer safe to leave as they were, after several large branches fell onto equipment at the site.
"In the meantime, we have asked the operators on site to make sure that the lights are turned off at night so as not to disturb residents and where this is not possible to redirect lights so they are not pointing towards nearby properties."