Let there be light, plead Hawick householders left in dark

Councillor Davie Paterson inspecting the Green Terrace steps.
Councillor Davie Paterson inspecting the Green Terrace steps.

Householders in a Hawick street have been plunged into darkness due to an overhanging tree outside their homes and have issued a plea to let there be light.

Three properties in the town’s seemingly-misnamed Bright Street have had their lives blighted by the overgrown foliage for months.

The situation is so bad that residents have to put on the lights in their living rooms on summer mornings.

A similar problem with another tree in the street was solved by Scottish Borders Housing Association cutting it back.

Scottish Borders Council, being responsible for the second problematic tree, has been asked to do likewise but is unwilling to oblige.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson has raised the concerns of residents with the authority.

He said: “The tree is causing a lot of problems with people getting light into their houses.

“They are in total darkness. In summer, they shouldn’t have to put their lights on. This tree needs to be cut back.

“The housing association has sorted out their tree in another part of the street, and I’ve asked the council to do the same for the tree that is in its ownership.”

However, a council spokesperson said cutting back the tree would have a damaging impact on its health.

He explained: “The tree in question has been looked at, but cutting it back on this occasion would mean we would need to cut again on a regular basis, which could be detrimental to the health of tree.

“Alongside the fact that the tree is showing no visible safety issues and is on the other side of the road from the residential properties, the council has taken the decision not to reduce the size of the tree at this time.”

Mr Paterson has also raised concerns over a stone wall in nearby Green Terrace eroding and undermining the road and steps close to a playpark there now in a dangerous condition.

He fears the wall will collapse unless action is taken soon to reinforce it.

Mr Paterson said: “If that wall is not attended to as soon as possible it could take the whole road away.

“The wall at the top of Green Terrace is in a very dangerous condition and it is eroding at an alarming rate.

“It could possibly all collapse, taking vehicles and the road with it, and the steps at Green Terrace taking you into the play area are in a shocking state. Action is needed there too before there’s an accident.”

The council’s property maintenance section has met builders to discuss the best way forward with the steps and is obtaining prices for the work required to them.

Staff in the council’s roads, bridges and open space team are now aware of the problem with the retaining wall and it will be inspected and appropriate action taken as soon as possible to make it safe, they say.

The council spokesperson added: “We are in the process of assessing the condition of the wall at Green Terrace.

“The council is also in the process of obtaining quotes to carry out the required repairs to the steps.”