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Fight to have trees behind Pate's Grammar School which block homes' light cut down taken to Martin Horwood MP

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

By MICHAEL PURTON

  • Angry residents: left to right are Howard Faulkner, Janet White, Colin White, Lorna Harper, Anne Wildman and Paul Wildman

  • In the frame: Bournside school student Bronte Palmer, who won first place in the Gloucestershire Young Photographer of the Year competition, with Emma Jayne Hayes, who received a highly commended certificate

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ANGRY residents battling to have towering trees chopped down behind their homes have taken their fight to the town's MP.

Neighbours in Graham Place have taken the step after their pleas to Pate's Grammar School to have them cut down fell on deaf ears.

Poplar trees at the back of Pate's Grammar School in Hester's Way have infuriated the people who live in the neighbouring houses.

They claimed the trees have blocked sunlight and satellite TV signals and littered their gutters and gardens with leaves.

The residents said they had repeatedly complained about the trees, which are around 90ft tall and overlook gardens, but the school has failed to take action.

Now they have launched a petition which they have arranged to hand to MP Martin Horwood at his Cheltenham office on March 22.

Anne Wildman, 52, said handing the petition to Mr Horwood was a desperate attempt to finally spark action from the school.

She said: "Most of the people on the street have signed the petition. We have around 25 signatures. It's a shame we've had to resort to doing a petition, but the school just hasn't listened.

"We have written to them and asked them to do something again and again, but they just ignore us."

Her husband Paul Wildman, 64, said that, when they moved to their house 11 years ago, the trees were not a problem. But they had now grown so tall that they block sunlight.

He added: "We complained to the school last year and we went to them again a couple of months ago, and they said they would deal with it but nothing has happened. We would be quite happy if they cut the trees down halfway.

"I have a letter dated October 20, 2010 from the school bursar in which he said they would talk to the groundsman about the issue, but nothing has happened."

Lorna Harper, 39, said the trees had prevented her from getting Sky TV because they block satellite signals.

She added: "There was Sky when I moved in last August but the signal was terrible, so I called in an engineer. He said he could not get a signal because the trees were blocking it."

Pate's declined to comment on the issue.

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2 comments

  • Stroudette  |  February 26 2013, 8:45PM

    Unfortunately, they can't refuse to move in as they are council houses, nor can they easily leave. It reflects poorly on Pates, but they have never given much consideration to their neighbours. It sets a poor example to their students. The trees are tall and loom over the houses, especially as they have very small gardens.

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  • thesmithster  |  February 26 2013, 12:01PM

    These trees are very tall and narrow and the leaves are not densely packed. If they were a row of tall, thick fir trees right next to each other I could understand. The trees are widely spaced and I really don't see how they are such a problem. Plenty of light filters through between the leaves and through the wide spaces between the trees. In the previous article about this the residents said they just wanted them trimmed down. To trim very tall trees like this would look ridiculous, and I don't think it would make much difference to satellite signals and light because the trees would still be tall enough to reach at least part way up the height of the building. The trees have been there for a long, long time - before any of these residents moved in. If they didn't like it, why move there in the first place? Personally I would much rather see these lovely trees out of my window than a spiked fence and a school playing field. They actually add a little extra privacy to the residents and make what would be a very stark, bare horizon look much more pleasant.

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