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Flowers saga housing firm defends action
A HOUSING association that dug up a pensioner’s prize-winning flowers has defended its actions, saying it acted reasonably and fairly.
The Malvern Gazette reported last week that 65- year-old Julia Mason, of Barnards Close in Malvern, was distraught when her golden rod flowers – judged the best display in town by Malvern in Bloom – was chopped down by Barnleigh Housing Association.
The action was taken following complaints by neighbours the amount of pollen the flowers produced gave them the sniffles.
When initially contacted, Barnleigh’s chairman Stuart Wollaston would only say he believed the association had taken “appropriate action”.
But he got in touch following our story.
He said all tenants shared communal grounds, maintained by the association, and that it was only by agreement residents were allowed to cultivate land.
“In this particular case the tenant’s golden rod had exacerbated health problems for her neighbours and the association, not unreasonably, asked for her co-operation to mitigate the problems,” he said.
“It was subsequently found that the tenant had extended the planting of golden rod to a point well beyond her boundary and she was advised that the association would remove those particular plants and return them to her.
“The tenant was personally informed of this in advance of any action being taken.”
He said no fixed date was agreed for the work and that it was an unfortunate coincidence that it took place while Mrs Mason was at a hospital appointment.
He said he had heard nothing further from Mrs Mason so was surprised to find she had reported the matter to the Gazette.
He added: “The association is run on a voluntary basis, with the unpaid chairman and committee giving up time to support the running of the properties, always with the tenants’ best interests at heart.
“This is reflected in the standard of the bungalows and the grounds, which most years are on the route taken by the Malvern in Bloom judges.
“From contact with the vast majority of the tenants this has been much appreciated.”