I was out for about 10 hours over the weekend chopping back my weeds and rampant bamboo. I dragged all of the cuttings out of sights to my back garden and managed to burn most of it. There's still quite a lot in the front garden left to move, but it's all cut down and lay on the ground. It's not a massive plot, maybe 10x10 metres. The very day after my work, a letter from the local council arrived to tell me that someone has complained about my front garden. They had been to take photos a few weeks earlier and I was given a deadline to get it cut back.
I know who complained, as it was someone on the opposite side of the road who had their house for sale. They had already sold and moved by the time I cleared it and the letter arrived. My wife emailed the council to say we were quite offended by the tone of their letter and that it already been tackled.
Last week, the council sent me another letter as follows:
My first reaction was anger and offence. It's my private property and I'm dealing with it in my own time. It's obviously cold and wet at this time of year so I'm in no rush to be carrying cuttings around. The council do not provide any garden waste bins and bonfires don't light when they're damp. I know, I tried 4 times! Rather than pick up the phone and give them an earful, I emailed a reply directly to the named contact as follows:"I note that a lot of vegetation has now been cut back and cleared as requested and may I thank you for your co-operation in this respect. However, in order for me to be able to close my file on this matter, please can you arrange for all of the remaining cuttings to be cleared from the front garden by 22nd December 2014"
What do you think? Am I pulling a tiger's tail or am I on firm (if untidy) ground?Mrs B*******,
I received your letter today about my private property at *****. I can assure you that I performed the clearance of a large amount of plant growth of my own accord. I was not acting under any obligation set down by yourself. I was almost surprised to receive your previous letter the week after I had undertaken a lot of garden maintenance.
I am frankly at a loss to express how confused I am that you continue to contact me regarding the state of my own property. I will most likely clear the remaining cuttings in my own time as weather and work permit, but I cannot say if this will be before or after your 22nd December deadline.
Unless you can refer me to some environmental legislation I do not expect any further correspondence from you. I consider this matter closed.