PANDEMONIUM erupted in Caldicot when workers for a tree service company began chopping down a much-loved hedge at the centre of a planning dispute.

The greenery, which faces Pill Row, is under threat from plans to create a new site entrance to the Severn Bridge Industrial Estate.

The applicant wants to open up the access so more industrial units can be built.

The plans have encountered massive local opposition, with more than 50 objections lodged online.

Residents say they are still reeling from the hedge incident, which became so heated the police were called.

Owners of the Brookland Motel Judy and Steve Edwards awoke to see workers with chainsaws cutting the trees and hedge down.

Mr Edwards, 54, roused as many locals as possible in protest, some of whom came out in their pyjamas, forcing the the work to stop.

Rita Read said: “People are gutted it’s gone this far.

“It was getting so out of hand the residents said ‘we will lie down in the road to stop you’.

Mrs Edwards said: “Feelings are running very high in this area.

“It’s a nightmare pulling out on to the main road anyway so lorries would definitely make it worse.

“It would be devastating to have the hedgerow taken down in terms of views. We and our guests would have to look into the industrial estate.”

Derek Prosser, planning agent for the applicant Alan Horne, said they were trying to cut down the hedge as part of the work required to get the access out on to Pill Row.

“There were no controls in place to stop this.

“However the attempt was withdrawn for the health and safety of the protesters.

They were making it clear they were not going away.”

Monmouthshire council’s highways department is recommending the plans be refused due to safety concerns.

Mr Prosser said he remains hopeful they will be passed.