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Hedge row: Out-of-court settlement!

PUBLISHED: 10:57 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 14 July 2010

A town mayor has apologised to tennis players following a long-standing wrangle over the height of a hedge.

Wymondham Tennis Club has been based at Ketts Park since 2003 and uses a centuries old hedge at the site as a windbreak.

A town mayor has apologised to tennis players following a long-standing wrangle over the height of a hedge.

Wymondham Tennis Club has been based at Ketts Park since 2003 and uses a centuries old hedge at the site as a windbreak.

But despite being given reassurances in the past that the hedge would be maintained at 8ft, it has been lopped back on a number of occasions - the latest being a week ago, the day before the issue was to be discussed at the town council meeting.

Roger Meadows, the club's honorary secretary said: “Yet again Wymondham Town Council has reneged on its promise to keep the hedge at Ketts Park at a reasonable height. The hedge acts as a natural windbreak for the tennis courts. It also provides cover for wildlife.

“The committee and members of the tennis club are very dismayed that once again the hedge has been cut.”

Although it was agreed at the meeting the hedge would be allowed to grow back to its original level, Mr Meadows - who estimates the current height at 6ft - said the tennis players now faced at least three years of “inconvenience” from wind and car lights at Harts Farm Road while it regenerated.

Wymondham town clerk Trevor Gurney said although councillors had agreed it 2003 the hedge would not be reduced in height, it was unclear whether this meant in perpetuity. And the fact that about two feet had been lopped off prior to last week's meeting was due to a misunderstanding.

“I put the hedge on the agenda for last Tuesday so the new council could make a final decision. Then I found out on Tuesday morning that my head groundsman had inadvertently cut it the day before.

“Len Elston, the mayor, apologised to the tennis club and informed them that we would now retain the hedge, in due course, at 8ft.”

Mr Gurney said the current height is 7ft from the tennis court side and 7ft 10ins when measured from the roadside.

He added that Norfolk police uses land at Ketts Park for staff parking and had asked the town council to keep the hedge at a lower level because of safety issues. Having to pay specialist contractors to keep it in trim at the original height had also been a factor in the saga.

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