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Permission given to remove section of ‘important’ hedgerow in Torfaen by Welsh Water

a hedge
This section of hedge, along Lancaster Road in New Inn, Pontypool, is to be removed despite being recognised as 'important' (Picture: Google Street View)

A BID to remove a section of hedge that has been granted “important” status has been approved by planners.

Welsh Water had asked for permission to remove the 12 metres of hedgerow along Lancaster Road at New Inn, Pontypool so construction traffic can enter a field.  Its original application was turned down by Torfaen Borough Council’s planning department as the firm hadn’t provided sufficient detail about the ecological value of the hedge, meaning planners couldn’t determine if it was “important”.

Now it has provided more information it has been confirmed it is an “important hedgerow” – against the criteria set out in the 1997 Hedgerow Regulations – and permission to rip it up has been granted as the firm also has a plan to reinstate the hedge between November 2025 and February 2026.

The hedge is considered important as it contains at least seven woody species, it is also alongside a public right of way, there is a hedge opposite it, there is a tree nearby and, three species of ground flora are also present and there are no gaps of more than 10 per cent along the length of the hedgerow.

However, an ecological survey found no evidence of hazel dormouse or great crested newts in the local area and while the hedge is suitable for common species of nesting birds the intention is to remove it over winter 2023/2024. Fencing will be erected to protect the roots of nearby trees when the hedge is removed.


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Permission given to remove section of ‘important’ hedgerow in Torfaen by Welsh Water