The council have put plans on hold to remove flowerbeds which were planted by a Sheffield couple along a rural lane over 20 years ago, until a ‘common-sense way forward’ is agreed.
Sally Williams, 69 and her husband Brian, 80, planted the flowerbeds along Hollin House Lane, Loxley around 28 years ago to brighten and encourage wildlife to the surrounding area.
However, after a recent anonymous complaint to Sheffield Council they were told to remove the roadside garden, as it was dangerous to road users.
Tom Finnegan-smith, head of strategic transport and infrastructure at Sheffield Council said: “We have sympathy with the nearby home owner who has attempted to stop cars driving over the highway verge on what is a very narrow, single-track lane.
“Unfortunately the placing of flower beds, as well as stones and water barrels, on the highway outside the property, could be a danger to other road users and is a contravention of Section 149 of the Highways Act 1980. We received a complaint about this and had to take appropriate action.”
Residents began a petition to ‘keep Britain in bloom’ and save the roadside garden, which has gained nearly 5,000 signatures so far.
Now, it has been announced that the council will rethink plans to remove the flowerbed.
Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Development and Transport at Sheffield Council, said: “The displays look absolutely great. This issue has come about because a local resident complained they were restricting access. I’m sure the officer’s decision to take action was made with the best of intentions.
“I’ve told the department that we need to think again and find a common-sense way forward. I hope to meet with Mr and Mrs Williams in the near future and I can assure them that no action will be taken until those discussions have taken place.”
The Lord Mayor of Sheffield and various councillors also showed their support for the couple.
Councillors David and Penny Baker, who both represent the Stannington ward, visited the couple at their Loxley home, saying the move to get rid of the roadside garden has made the council look foolish.
And, when concerned residents asked The Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid his thoughts on the issue, he said: “It wasn't a decision I made and I don't agree with it.”
Natalie Bennett, former leader of the Green Party also took to social media to urge people to sign the petition. She said: “Sheffield - please sign and share: that this should be happening when we get new awful news about the collapse of global bio abundance is a sign of how our council fails to ‘get it’.”
You can view the petition here.