‘Shocked’ residents slam school for clearing plants

ANGRY residents are up in arms over a school’s decision to cut back overgrown trees and shrubs on the site.

Arthur Gray of Abbey Road, Sompting, said he and his neighbours were ‘totally shocked’ by the Sir Robert Woodard Academy’s decision to cut back the vegetation.

“We are totally shocked by the waste of money that was used to plant thousands of shrubs and trees that have been cut down to save gardening work,” said Mr Gray.

“An industrial strimmer could have removed the overgrown weeds, if attention had been provided once the academy was up and running we would not have this devastation facing us now.”

He claims the school had assured residents a barrier of shrubs and trees would be planted to form a protective screen and encourage wildlife.

“All this has now been destroyed,” he said.

Principal Peter Midwinter argued that the school was acting responsibly to remove overgrowth which had become infested by foxes, presenting a health hazard for students, and said more clearance work was planned.

“We are trying to respect our boundary,” said Mr Midwinter.

“A couple of people have written in thanking us for cutting it back. People on the Boundstone Lane side are really pleased. You just can’t win.

“It was getting overgrown. We would say it was just good estate management. We are just looking after our estate.”

Mr Midwinter also said so much ivy had grown on some of the fences around the site that they were in danger of collapsing if no action was taken.