Proposals to remove 250 metres of hedging alongside Burnham-On-Sea’s Love Lane have been described as ‘sinister’ during a town council debate this week.

At their meeting on Monday (March 20th), members of the Planning Applications Committee considered a plan from the owner of a field next to Burnham’s Love Lane to remove the hedgerow in order to allow the ditch to be cleared out.

The application is for “the removal of 250 metres of hedgerow on the east side of the ditch to enable machine access for routine maintenance and clearing the ditches to improve the drainage and agricultural productivity of the land.”

Cllr John Parkes said: “I find this application quite sinister – this field is one of five sites in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge identified for possible future housing development. Is this the early first phase before the full plans are put in?”

But Cllr Bill Hancock responded: “As a farmer and land owner I understand why the owner wants to clean out this ditch. I think we would have egg on our face if we rejected this.”

Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton added: “The field often floods over the winter so I fully understand why the ditch should be cleared.”

Cllr Andy Brewer added: “We would look silly objecting against an application to allow a ditch to be cleared out.”

Town councillors gave their backing to the application with conditions.