The Chairman of the Parish Council, Clive Abbott, met the Managing Director of Lochailort Investments Ltd, Mr Hugo Haig, on 5 July to reinforce the PC’s dismay, and that of the community in Norton St Philip, at the planting of leylandii trees along the perimeter of Fortescue Fields and the Laverton Triangle. While recognising that was planted on private land was for the owner’s judgement and decision, the Chairman said that this planting had been very unwelcome in the village; and he also drew attention to concerns that ancient hedgerows could lose moisture, nutrition and light. The Chairman requested that the leylandii be removed. He commented that while there was no obligation to consult the PC, some discussion in advance of the planting would have been appreciated.
The Chairman also commented on the separate issue of some damage to the leylandii, underlining that vandalism in any part of the civil parish of Norton St Philip was unacceptable and that the PC would do all it could to discourage such activity. Its views on this matter had been made wholly clear in a statement which had already appeared on the PC’s website. He drew a clear distinction between the PC’s concerns about the appearance of the leylandii and its attitude to damage to the new planting.
Mr Haig explained the background to Lochailort’s investment, and the scale of its involvement, in Norton St Philip in recent years. He listened carefully to the concerns expressed on the recent planting of leylandii, and noted the issues raised. The meeting concluded with a request to Mr Haig to reflect on the points which the Chairman had made.