Recent news - 20th August 2007

Land grab by a resident of Highfield Gardens -  Residents fly tipping

Land grap update .....

Land grab from Brickfields Country Park by a resident of a Highfield Gardens property, click for a larger picture Stolen tree from Brickfields Country Park by a resident of a Highfield Gardens property, click for a larger picture
Photos ©2007

As you may remember we reported last January of the deliberate incursion into the park by the occupier of a Highfield Gardens property, in replacing their fence, taking between 50cm and over 1M (1.5ft to 4ft) of land from the park into their own garden, and that garden being one of the largest gardens on the Highfield Gardens estate to boot!.  The fence has been moved so far that one of our larger Oak trees is now in their garden, including the nest box we had put up on the tree some while back.  The Council's legal team have been informed, but to date we are still waiting an outcome with this particular problem.  If the resident has purchased the land or can otherwise prove it is legally theirs, then we will suitably modify this news report and publish an apology but somehow though we doubt that we will have to do that !.

You can see from the first photo (top left) that their side fence has been extended some 50cm (elsewhere it is more), and then their contractor has even had the nerve to add an advertising hoarding !.  The second photo shows the area over their side of the fence, and if you look carefully at the larger version (click on the photo), you can see in the middle distance the remains of a bit of metal fencing that ended at their old boundary, and yet further on, the tree that they now have in their garden that was originally in the park !.  Look very closely and you can trace the original fence line.  Their contractor also took a chainsaw to the bases of several trees so that the fence could be placed as close the trees as possible.

We have a watching brief to check the park and it's boundaries, and we are required to report any loss or encroachment.  With the current Chrismas Lodge situation uppermost in our minds, loosing land in this way to a local resident is galling to say the least, basically this is theft.  That resident should contact the Parks and Legal departments of Rushmoor Borough Council directly to sort this situation out.  Other residents bordering the park have taken the time and effort to lease or buy small pieces of land from the park for their gardens, this resident just took the view that it was up for grabs and he would take it, probably hoping nobody noticed - we did though.  We will just have to see how this situation pans out.

Fly tipping on a grand scale ! .....
Update - This resident has now responded to communications from Rushmoor Borough Council and subsequently has removed parts of and regraded the fly tipped material to the satisfaction of Rushmoor Council.   This does not condone what is still an illegal act under the Environmental Protection Act 1991 and The Waste (Household Waste) Duty of Care (England & Wales) Regulations 2005.  Any further fly tipping in Brickfields Park will be monitored and could result in a fine of up to £5000.

Fly tipping on a grand scale, click for a larger image Fly tipping on a grand scale, click for a larger image
Photos ©2007

Sunday the 19th we went down to the park to do our usual rubbish clearance and tidy up and also to pick some Blackberries for next years jam sales.  Just as we were finishing we found that a resident of Jubilee Road had hired a mini digger to excavate foundations for a concrete base presumably for a Garage.  No problem with this but for the fact that this lazy resident had sought to keep his costs down by not hiring a skip for the excavated soil and rubble but decided instead to remove his back fence and use the digger to dump the rubbish in Brickfields Park, we estimate about 3-5 tones of soil and rubble.  This would have filled at least one skip possibly two, a saving of at least £150 but at what cost to the park ?.

To be fair the dumped soil was smoothed out and graded, but we did notice on a later inspection with a Rushmoor Council representative that some evidence of brick and concrete rubble had been covered over to make it look as if it was only soil.  Parts of the fly tipped material is about 1M deep and has been banked up the base of several trees, which might upset their stability.  These trees are Black Poplars and our population represent a proportion of the entire UK stock of this now rare tree.

This is an illegal act and an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1991 and The Waste (Household Waste) Duty of Care (England & Wales) Regulations 2005 which introduces a new duty on householders who will be required to take reasonable measures to ensure that household waste produced on their property is passed on to an authorised person, non compliance could lead that resident to a fine of £5000.

As we work with Rushmoor Borough Council we have had no alternative but to inform them of the fly tipping and leave it to their legal team to contact the resident to sort this matter out.  It is entirely possible they will take legal action as detailed on the RBC website.

If you see any vandalism, damage or disturbance in the park, please do not get involved, just phone the Police on the usual number - 999 or 112 (mobiles)

If you have any news for Brickfields Country Park please e-mail at The Friends of Brickfields Country Park.

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