HAVING noticed your recent article regarding Mr and Mrs Laughlin’s concerns about the fate of the hedgerow along Sykes Lane in Silsden, I decided to take a look at the issue myself – Hedging their bets on solution to homes row (Keighley News, July 6).

The hedgerow alongside the Harron Homes building site is not at all attractive, and it is difficult to see any sense whatsoever in keeping much of it, except for the sake of a few more valued trees.

My reason being that due to much dumping of waste and overall deterioration of the hedge, which appears to be not that old – in hedge terms – I would believe a newer, sensible boundary would probably be welcome. Preferably, a native hedge, though, rather than a solid wood fence.

What was most interesting, however, is what I believe is really at stake here.

It would appear the Laughlins have actually decided, quite cheekily, to create their own parking space, by putting up private signs and parking a vehicle at a deteriorated, opened gap within the direct line of the hedgerow.

This begs the question: Are the Laughlin’s seriously concerned about the protection for the ‘supposed historic’ hedgerow here? If so, then why are they claiming a part of it for themselves?

Is the real concern about the hedgerow, or is it about the loss of a claimed parking space within the hedge?

PAUL REDSHAW Silsden l In response, Silsden residents Eddie and Karen Laughlin said: “The aesthetics are no doubt different in different people’s eyes.

“However, the array of hawthorn, crab apple and established trees and other bushes do, in our eyes, make for a natural-looking, beautiful country footpath. It may not be to everyone’s taste, so we welcome the idea mentioned of a native hedge, which we are sure would flourish over time, but certainly not a monstrosity of wooden barrier at the expense of a natural boundary.

We are surprised Mr Redshaw does not see this need, as he clearly has seen the need to keep things natural in his objections to the building in Belton Road (Comments for Planning Application 17/02617/MAR). If the hedgerow in Sykes Lane is removed, there would be the exact same impact on the environment and local bird and wildlife that he is clearly passionate about in relation to the proposed Belton Road development.

We have, as he has pointed out, cheekily parked our car on a piece of the land that was part of the hedgerow that has been destroyed by Harron Homes, clearly to show our disgust at what is happening, especially against all planning regulations that were granted.

We are fully aware that on the end plans this will become part of an emergency exit, to where or for what purpose we have no idea, as the lane would not take emergency vehicles, and no one has been able to explain who would hold keys for the gates and make the ultimate decision on when they are used. We do take umbrage at the questioning of our integrity, without having the decency of discussion or knowing all of the facts in case.

There is no “supposed historic” about it. The hedgerow is well documented as being part of the main Silsden route, and is noted to be 500-plus years old.

This has been verified by a member of Silsden Historical Society.

Yes, our real concern is for the hedgerow and the impact of it being decimated to the point of it being lost for good.