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New Brighton’s Jennifer Miller was shocked to see the hedge at Blighs Garden, where her grandchildren would play, had been removed.
She said the space was a beautiful, sheltered area where children and residents would go for a picnic or to play sport, but now it was so opened up it had lost those qualities.
“Places are really important and the stories they tell. I’m not opposed to change when it’s justified,” she said.
“I just don’t understand why this was done.”
She said the board was presented with an original plan to which they requested changes, such as taking less of the hedge out, which should have come back to them for final approval, but didn’t.
“A lot of people are unhappy. I can see how the community loved going there.”
Board chairman Kelly Barber said it was frustrating as the removal was down to miscommunication about what was expected from the project.
“The whole board is really disappointed,” he said.
“This is not what we wanted to happen.”
A Christchurch City Council spokesperson said there were two projects being undertaken in the Blighs Garden area at the same time by different teams.
The first project involved tree removals and the second project involved both hedge and tree removal.
“Treetech advised that they had issued the start work notice, however, due to a communication error both teams took this to mean that applied to their project as the work had been packaged together. In fact it only applied to the first project.”
This meant the neighbouring properties were not aware work on the hedge was about to start.
Miller plans to write a letter to the city council requesting the hedge be replaced and asking for justification on why the removal occurred.
Zervos said the original plan to remove some of the hedge came about due to safety concerns over how hidden the area was, especially for kids playing who were unable to be monitored by anyone.
“Hopefully the space can get upgraded to a nicer area,” she said.