The row over the removal of hedgerows at Crown Farm estate in Eton Wick has taken a new turn – with the issuing of a Planning Contravention Notice against the site’s new owner by the Royal Borough’s enforcement team.
The Royal Borough was inundated with complaints from villagers after hedgerows bordering the site were dug up with a JCB and enforcement officers subsequently met the new owner of the site Maurice Sines.
They reported back that Mr Sines had agreed to work with the council to replace the hedgerow.
Then over the Bank Holiday weekend the village website erupted with angry reports that more hedegrows were being dug up and a fence built where the hedgerows already removed had been.
Yesterday the borough’s planning enforcement team confirmed that it had issued the Planning Contravention Notice, stating: “The notice requires the owner to answer a series of questions which will assist the team in the current enforcement investigation.
“A site visit is also planned early next week whereby officers will meet with the owner’s agent to discuss and review the work on site.
“With reference to the removal of protected trees on site, these are being considered as part of a criminal investigation which is underway.
“A hedgerow replacement notice will be issued next week. This sets out the requirements of the owner to replace that hedgerow that was removed.”
The council’s tree team is also investigating if the erection of the fence negatively affected protected trees on site.
The 5.2 acres of farmland that make up Crown Farm was bought on auction in June for £783,000
Soon afterwards representatives from Eton Town Council and Eton Wick Village Association met Mr Sines there at his request, where he firmly denied rumours that he planned to allow travellers’ caravans on the site but said he was planning some form of development and would apply for planning permission when the time came.