Council charge for bulb-planting residents in Brighton

They are drab slabs of grass that border homes in suburban areas.

But any community-minded resident wanting to transform a verge into a flowerbed will now have to pay an annual fee of £30 before a bulb is even planted.

Brighton and Hove City Council claims a number of people have approached it about cultivating green spaces next to their properties.

But rather than letting locals plant flowers to improve their areas without supervision, the local authority says it has a duty to ensure the areas are safe for everyone.

But critics claim the licence, which will be needed for those who “want to change the design” of the grassy areas, is “bureaucracy gone mad”.

Fine appeal

Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett said: “It’s a ludicrous idea. “People love the grass verges. It brings a bit of countryside to suburban areas.

“Instead of worrying about people making grass verges look nicer maybe the council should think about making it city-wide to fine people to park on them.”

A council spokeswoman said alterations allowed by law include adding flowerbeds or small shrubs.

However, paving over green spaces or adding large obstructions will not be permitted.

The local authority said the aim is to cover the cost of its staff checking sites and administering licences, and no licence was needed for people who wanted to mow the verge between its regular trims.

'Danger to traffic'

Exact details are currently being drafted but The Argus understands if work is carried out without a licence then the householder could be ordered to restore it back to a verge.

Paul Skelly, of Brighton and Hove City In Bloom, said: “The council will need to ensure the proposed cultivation is not a danger to traffic.

“I doubt if there will be many such applications but I would want to be assured that if someone planted a few bulbs under a tree outside their house they would not be charged £30.”

Conservative councillor Ken Norman, who is a judge for the Royal Chelsea Flower Show, said: “I can see a lot of problems with it, not least when they come round to mow the verges.”

Talking point: To what extent should communities pay to plant verges, or should it be seen as community spirited? Share your views by commenting below or write to the letters editor or email letters@theargus.co.uk.

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - facebook.com/southerndailyecho Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:14pm Wed 23 Jan 13

olebut says...

Just throw 'seed bombs' on the grass and some will germinate and if they are 'wild' flower seeds they will help the bees and will look great. Flowers and no fee.
Just throw 'seed bombs' on the grass and some will germinate and if they are 'wild' flower seeds they will help the bees and will look great. Flowers and no fee. olebut

12:21pm Wed 23 Jan 13

leobrighton says...

Best leave well alone. One persons idea of an improvement could be another persons eyesore.
Best leave well alone. One persons idea of an improvement could be another persons eyesore. leobrighton

12:22pm Wed 23 Jan 13

NickBtn says...

Surely the cost of administering this mad rule will be more than it can ever bring in? Even someones time to set up this scheme must run into days of work. Abandon now - before more money is wasted
Surely the cost of administering this mad rule will be more than it can ever bring in? Even someones time to set up this scheme must run into days of work. Abandon now - before more money is wasted NickBtn

12:23pm Wed 23 Jan 13

BrunswickSquare says...

The verges in Surrey where I used to live were full of daffodils - a lovely sight and nothing to do with the Council either. I would have thought that this sort of thing would be just what we needed. The council seems to thing they have a duty of care everywhere - yet they still plant crocuses / daffodils in the parks. what's the difference?
The verges in Surrey where I used to live were full of daffodils - a lovely sight and nothing to do with the Council either. I would have thought that this sort of thing would be just what we needed. The council seems to thing they have a duty of care everywhere - yet they still plant crocuses / daffodils in the parks. what's the difference? BrunswickSquare

12:37pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Alison Smith says...

The Greens are probably worried that daffodils will ruin the grassy areas where the various protesters want to pitch their tents.
The Greens are probably worried that daffodils will ruin the grassy areas where the various protesters want to pitch their tents. Alison Smith

12:48pm Wed 23 Jan 13

risingphoenix says...

Sod the council...

'Guerilla gardening' is the way to go!
Sod the council... 'Guerilla gardening' is the way to go! risingphoenix

12:48pm Wed 23 Jan 13

pwlr1966 says...

"the local authority says it has a duty to ensure the areas are safe for everyone."

Then why do they leave the weeds to grow four foot high all over the cracks in the pavement, this has to be more dangerous than bulb planting.
"the local authority says it has a duty to ensure the areas are safe for everyone." Then why do they leave the weeds to grow four foot high all over the cracks in the pavement, this has to be more dangerous than bulb planting. pwlr1966

12:52pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Can this be says...

More silly nonsense from our green Greens who are again discouraging people wanting to improve the area where they live. "Just do it" springs to mind.

"leobrighton" makes a fair point, but I guess that can be overcome.
More silly nonsense from our green Greens who are again discouraging people wanting to improve the area where they live. "Just do it" springs to mind. "leobrighton" makes a fair point, but I guess that can be overcome. Can this be

12:59pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Alan G Skinner says...

Vile money grabbing parasites.
Vile money grabbing parasites. Alan G Skinner

1:47pm Wed 23 Jan 13

BornInBrighton1968 says...

Every day and every way, the people of Brighton despise the incompetent Green council more and more....
Every day and every way, the people of Brighton despise the incompetent Green council more and more.... BornInBrighton1968

2:28pm Wed 23 Jan 13

davenachfan says...

I used to work in Eastbourne and nearly all the roundabouts there had wonderful displays of spring flowers.
Locally, the roundabouts near the Hangleton Interchange are covered in slabs of concrete. I would support any plans to plant bulbs or sow wild flowers on roundabouts, but the council should not be charging £30. They should be pleased that local residents care about their environment.
I used to work in Eastbourne and nearly all the roundabouts there had wonderful displays of spring flowers. Locally, the roundabouts near the Hangleton Interchange are covered in slabs of concrete. I would support any plans to plant bulbs or sow wild flowers on roundabouts, but the council should not be charging £30. They should be pleased that local residents care about their environment. davenachfan

3:54pm Wed 23 Jan 13

mimseycal says...

They'll mpay for sheep to graze but charge for planting a bulb ... Ah well ... a case of real priorities I suppose. I am so glad I signed the No confidence in the Greens petition.
They'll mpay for sheep to graze but charge for planting a bulb ... Ah well ... a case of real priorities I suppose. I am so glad I signed the No confidence in the Greens petition. mimseycal

6:51pm Wed 23 Jan 13

bogs says...

Are they worried about Uphill Gardners?
Are they worried about Uphill Gardners? bogs

8:24pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

We are told "The local authority said the aim is to cover the cost of its staff checking sites and administering licences, and no licence was needed for people who wanted to mow the verge between its regular trims."

What regular trims, there's nothing regular about the trims our verges get. If I didn't mow our verge it wouldn't get cut more than twice a year,

The Greens are a money grabbing disgrace.
We are told "The local authority said the aim is to cover the cost of its staff checking sites and administering licences, and no licence was needed for people who wanted to mow the verge between its regular trims." What regular trims, there's nothing regular about the trims our verges get. If I didn't mow our verge it wouldn't get cut more than twice a year, The Greens are a money grabbing disgrace. Idontbelieveit1948

4:32pm Sat 16 Feb 13

shining star says...

I can remember when there were lovely gardens showing spring and summer flower displays and grass, kept in tip top condition, small fencing prevented people walking on them and it was a lovely sight on the approach to the seafront. Now, it is open for everyone to trample on, dogs to mess over and an absolute eyesore. It has turned into a mud bath.
I can remember when there were lovely gardens showing spring and summer flower displays and grass, kept in tip top condition, small fencing prevented people walking on them and it was a lovely sight on the approach to the seafront. Now, it is open for everyone to trample on, dogs to mess over and an absolute eyesore. It has turned into a mud bath. shining star

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree