Residents in a Ferryden street now feel they are “living in a prison” after their boundary hedge was replaced with a mesh fence.
The fence, which runs behind houses in Eskview Terrace, separates the properties from the neighbouring King George V park and concerns over loss of privacy have also been raised with Angus Council.
Residents are also worried that the fence is not as secure as the hedge and that it affords no shelter from the weather
The hedge was removed by the authority as it had “reached the end of its useful life” but Lorna Lind, who lives on the street, said householders are not happy.
She said: “We received a letter telling us they were upgrading but there was no consultation and they’ve put this up. We now have no privacy, and it’s like living in a prison, according to one resident. Anyone walking through the park can look in.
“The hedge did have holes in it, but what annoyed me more is that there was no consultation. It’s also loss of a habitat for birds.
“None of the residents are happy with what has been put in place, although I’m sure it’ll save the council money.
Lorna wrote to complain to Alan McKeown, the council’s strategic director, communities.
She said: “The fence is not even an appropriate wooden garden type; instead it is fence that is normally associated with playing fields or sports centres and looks completely out of place in its setting and further confirms little regard being paid to Eskview’s residents’ feelings or property.”
In his reply, Mr McKeown said the hedge had been maintained by the parks division via a service level agreement with the Montrose Community Housing Team.
He continued: “Large sections of the hedge had been left unmaintained where access had become increasingly difficult for our parks division to carry out the work required. As a result, the hedge had begun to sag in areas and gaps were difficult to patch with new growth.
“As this hedge had reached the end of its useful life, a decision was taken at the local office to remove the hedge. In the process of removing the hedge, the existing boundary fence was found to be in a serious state of disrepair and was subsequently replaced.” Mr McKeown added that the replacement was chosen for its “aesthetic appearance”, low maintenance and resistance to being cut or climbed while a wooden fence would have had maintenance problems and a shorter life expectancy. He also pointed out its suitability as it is a playing field boundary.
He added: “I would advise that the removal of this fence was not a deliberate cost-cutting exercise, however, there will be associated annual savings and consideration was given to the materials used and the construction of the replacement fence.”