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Large trees put Shirley’s house in darkness all year

DEPRESSED Shirley Edwards says it is winter all year long in her North Bersted home.


The three-bedroom terraced house is overshadowed by three giant trees across the path from her front garden.


The largest, and nearest, a cherry blossom, is some 10ft taller than the house and its branches have begun to overhang her roof after passing over the garden.


This leaves Mrs Edwards having to turn on her lights even in mid-summer.


Mrs Edwards said: “There are three large trees in an area as wide as my living room and as long as my living room.


“It’s like winter all year in my house. I never see the sun even at this time of year apart from a little bit which shines on my porch about 6pm.


“I’ve got no outlook from the front of my house at all. If I go upstairs, all I can see are leaves. I am depressed by the situation.”


The situation is worsened for Mrs Edwards, who has lived in Maple Gardens for 42 years, by a twin-trunk mountain ash outside one of her neighbour’s homes. This blocks her Freesat television signal between May and October each year when it’s in full leaf.


She can get a minimal signal with an indoor aerial on a small set in her front bedroom during those months.


Mrs Edwards, 66, said she had complained to Arun District Council, which is responsible for the trees, frequently in the past five years.


One of its officers had been to see the situation but no action had been taken, apart from two minor trims to the cherry blossom and the mountain ash.


The trees were planted by Arun about 35 years ago. The council carried out a consultation among residents who surround an open space about its proposals for bushes and trees.


“All six of us along here at the time said we were in favour of bushes and would like to see trees, but not in front of our houses,” said Mrs Edwards.


The council went ahead and planted the trio of trees – the other two are maples, on the small area of grass immediately in front of the house she had started to buy with her late neighbour.


“They told me the cherry blossom was going to be a miniature tree,” she said, “and would get to no more than 16-20ft high. But they have ruined what was a nice open area of grass. There are 15 trees on it.”


As well as the lack of light, the trees have also ruined Mrs Edwards’ front garden because they suck up all the moisture in the ground and stop rain reaching the ground.


Their branches are also favourite resting grounds for birds which poop all over the garden and her front windows.


“I used to have a beautiful garden with flowers and shrubs but all I have now are weeds from the birds’ droppings,” she said.

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