Saturday, 21 July 2018

I can’t see out of garden because of sight screens

A MAN has complained that the view from his back garden is being blocked by cricket sight screens.

A MAN has complained that the view from his back garden is being blocked by cricket sight screens.

James McLean, 61, who lives next to the cricket pitch behind The Hamlet in Gallowstree Common, said the five white screens, which are 16ft high, had been left in a row of three at the end of the season last month.

He said: “The screens appear to have been left there intentionally. This is spoiling our quiet enjoyment of our house and garden.

“It’s a very nice view and it’s part of the value of living in a rural area. We didn’t come here for someone to erect a big fence in front of it, which is effectively what it is.”

Mr McLean, who moved to the house with his wife 20 years ago and is now retired, believes he has been targeted after objecting to the new £600,000 pavilion, which was built in 2011.

He said: “It looks to us that because we objected the screens have been put there to spoil our view.”

He wrote a letter of complaint to Kidmore End Parish Council, which owns the ground, in July.

He said: “We would be most grateful if you could arrange for the screens to be left somewhere on the field where they are not causing a nuisance to anyone.”

Mr McLean wrote that he had raised the issue with Kidmore End Cricket Club and was told the screens had to remain where they were because it was the only flat piece of ground. The council replied on October 3, saying its playing fields committee believed the screens were best left where they were for security reasons and the direction of the prevailing wind.

Mr McLean said his garden had always been open but his neighbours had high hedges and trees.

“It seems unreasonable to put them in front of the only garden which has a view on to the field,” he said.

“They originally said it was the only flat piece of ground on the cricket field but by definition a cricket field is a flat piece of land. That’s never bothered them before because the screens have been left on other parts of the field in previous winters.”

Mr McLean, whose three sons all played for the club and who was once a member himself, said: “They’ve got a great junior set-up and it’s lovely to see all those kids out on the summer evenings learning how to play.

“I like to stand at the back gate and watch the cricket or take a beer out and watch the sun go down. It’s all part of the enjoyment of living here.”

Club chairman John Sheldon said there was nowhere else the screens could go. Four advertising boards worth £800 were stolen last year and the £3,000 screens were too expensive to be replaced if they were targeted.

“It’s in a good place and we’ve always kept things there,” he said. “Things have been stolen in the past so they have to be out of sight from vandals and they have to be on flat land otherwise they will buckle in the wind.”

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