VOTE: Should Lancashire County Council fell trees so it can sell off land?

Coun. Darren Reynolds on the Queen's Road site where trees have been felled. G240112/3
Coun. Darren Reynolds on the Queen's Road site where trees have been felled. G240112/3

NEIGHBOURS of a former Burnley allotment have reacted angrily after trees were chopped down on the disused site.

Chainsaw-wielding contractors were spotted felling a number of “healthy” trees on the Queen’s Road plot on Monday.

Residents branded the work “vandalism” and have hit out at Lancashire County Council for allowing it to go ahead.

Around 20 houses overlook the land and fears are that yet more trees could be torn down

Tony Kalus (55) who lives in neighbouring Ebor Street, said the work had ruined the environment there and described the situation as a disgrace.

He said: “I am furious. There is no reason at all for these trees to be felled.

“There are around 20 houses that face onto the site. The work that has been done has directly affected the environment for everyone on our block and people across on Queen’s Road.

“There is no way on earth this can be justified as ‘just thinning’. We were given no notice at all about it.

“It is vandalism. They have changed our view for ever.”

Queensgate ward councillor Darren Reynolds spoke to County Hall figures who claimed the council was “thinning out saplings.”

Coun. Reynolds said: “The photos tell a very different story. These trees are at least 30 years old according to residents. The diameter of the sawn trunks is over 12in. in places and ‘sapling’ as a term means a young tree no more than about 5in. in diameter at most.

“What has actually happened is that Lancashire County Council is planning to sell the site. They are removing the trees prior to putting the land up for sale to enhance its value.

“These actions have been taken without any consultation with residents, the borough council or local councillors.”

Martyn Ellis, principal estates surveyor at Lancashire County Council confirmed the authority was planning to sell the disused land.

He said: “As part of our standard procedure when preparing a site for sale, we seek advice of a tree expert before carrying out any work involving the removal of trees and undergrowth.

“Following this advice, some trees and shrubbery located in the centre of the site were removed, but mature trees around the edge of the site were left in place.”