Published: 05:00, 09 May 2022
| Updated: 16:04, 09 May 2022
A villager says trees being planted on the green will create an unsafe "dark tunnel" and ruin the view from her house.
Helen Rutherford has raised concerns over an assortment of new trees planted by Sandhurst Parish Council, which she says did not consult with local residents.
She said: "We were never consulted, they didn’t reach out to us at all, poke a letter through the door, nothing.
"The council told me that I should have attended the parish meeting to have been informed about their plans.
"I am extremely busy working, caring for my father and living my life so do not have time to attend these."
Ms Rutherford has lived in the village near Tunbridge Wells for nine years, enjoying the view of the green and the picturesque clock tower which sits behind her home in the Sandhurst Conservation Area.
But she says the planting of the trees is likely to threaten her views as they begin to grow.
"The green will be completely blocked, as the trees will grow to the height of my house," she added.
"Light into my home will be reduced dramatically, my garden cast into shade and my view of the sunset will disappear.
"I bought my house because of the light which it enjoys and the view over the green. Several people have also mentioned that the view of the clock tower will be blocked."
Others living in the area have raised their concerns about the trees to Ms Rutherford.
She said: "Having spoken to everyone who lives on the green, the unanimous opinion is that we all like trees but feel that we should have been involved in the decision as to whether, where and how they are planted and the type of trees.
"A couple of other villagers have also responded to a post I put on social media."
One such reply was from a Maggie McCormack who, according to her account on social media website Nextdoor, is also from Sandhurst.
She replied: "Definitely agree. How thoughtless of the council to have them planted along that path for the very reasons you gave! There should have been a village survey."
Yet the roots of Ms Rutherford's concerns lie deeper than the trees' location and the council's approach to the matter as she believes they could cause other issues.
She said: "Because there is an existing hedge that runs alongside and the trees are so close to the hedge, its going to make a completely dark tunnel.
"I live on my own and it’s quite worrying going out in the dark. My gate backs onto the path so when it’s really dark anyone could be lurking out of the hedge and I wouldn’t be able to see them.
"The added trees will make a complete tunnel and be even more of a security issue.
"The trees will also bear fruit and are deciduous meaning the path will become even more slippery too which will cause a safety issue to users of the path."
According to Ms Rutherford, plans to plant tress in the area were originally discussed three years ago and at the time she was on board with the scheme.
"I did hear mention about this about three years ago when I was at the horticultural society and at the time, I thought what a nice idea because I love trees.
"After that the parish council consulted the horticultural society but apparently, they’ve just completely ignored what they said and the chairman went off and bought whatever he fancied from the local nursery."
Sandhurst Parish Council was approached but declined to comment.
Ms Rutherford has set up a petition in opposition to the planting of the trees and is hoping to reach 100 signatures. She is also open to finding a compromise to address the issue.
She suggested the trees be planted along Back Road to hide an array of parked cars whilst also allowing debris from the trees to fall onto the green and not the pathway.
The next council meeting is to be held on Tuesday.
Ms Rutherford's petition can be found here.https://www.change.org/p/move-the-trees-on-sandhurst-green-keep-it-a-safe-beautiful-place-retain-its-history?recruiter=1042735441&recruited_by_id=445d8260-4e5f-11ea-aa82-475f4abd0e5f&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard