SHRUBS pulled up on a major Colchester road will not be replaced.

Colchester Council has announced a U-turn on its policy to save money by removing shrubs, rose beds and hedges following a public outcry.

Remaining shrubs will be saved while other ways of saving the £17,000 maintenance costs will be looked into.

While plants were being removed from the first of 56 borders, work also started on uprooting shrubs on the Northern Approach Road.

But the work was separate to the cutting of vegetation elsewhere, as it formed part of a deal signed with former developers Cofton, which built the road, but went into administration earlier this year.

Councillor Martin Goss (Mile End, Lib Dem) said £145,000 from the developer had been earmarked for maintaining the verges until 2033.

But council officers quickly realised the bushes required trimming back so often the cash would run out by 2018.

As a result, the bushes have been cut back and roots have been removed, to be replaced with low level planting.

Mr Goss said officers should have informed councillors and residents about the changes before work started.

He said: “Because it was an operational piece of work and not a budget issue it went ahead without anyone being told. I have asked for a review of the maintenance policy.

“If the bushes were there they would have to be cut back every few weeks because they grow big and wild.

“With hindsight, the planting scheme was not suitable and something with a lower level of maintenance should have been planted.

“I’ve had three complaints about it from people who live in Mile End.”