Fiery exchange between landowners over tree felling at council meeting
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The landowners either side of a hotly-contested village lane butted heads at a council meeting - with one accusing the other of "environmental vandalism".
At Horsford Parish Council's meeting on October 4, a fiery debate took place about branch cutting and verge trimming on Mill Lane in Horsford.
The lane is currently the subject of a 528-signature strong petition by local Ann George, urgently calling for the felling of the "much-loved" beauty spot to grind to a halt.
Rachel Foley owns land on one side of the track, and claims it is being "damaged and destroyed" by the Keeler family, which owns the other side.
She maintains she has not given permission for her land to be touched, and publicly implored councillors to bring an end the wanton "destruction" of her property - a matter over which police are involved.
The opposing landowner, Michael Keeler, was also present, as well as his daughter Joanne - who sits on the parish council.
Ms Foley said: "I want to know why this issue is being brushed under the carpet.
"I've come to many of these meetings and there's lots of talk about cleaning up all the dog poo.
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"But nobody seems to care about the environmental vandalism in Mill Lane.
"I don't understand why the parish council won't let me talk about this. We're in Norfolk, not North Korea."
She was interrupted by chairman Chris Brown, who proclaimed this was "not a matter for the parish council" and said she needed to take the issue up with Norfolk County Council, which owns the road and the verges up to Ms Foley and Mr Keeler's land boundaries.
In a statement from the Keeler family, read out on their behalf by the chairman, they said they were simply widening the lane to gain access to their field, referring to the saga as "ridiculous", and claiming Ms Foley was "wasting police time".
They added that they thought they had permission from Highways to trim the hedges on both sides - but have since had it clarified they can't touch Ms Foley's land and that she was challenging the boundary.
Michael and Joanne Keeler then reprimanded Ms Foley for taking pictures of their family members, saying "they did not give permission" - but Ms Foley said she was "keeping a record" for the police and that the matter was far from over.