Anger after trees are reduced to stumps

Tree stumps in the wooded area behind The Oaks, Leyland
Tree stumps in the wooded area behind The Oaks, Leyland
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A Leyland resident is furious after trees behind his home have been chopped down by developers.

Martin Wilkinson, 51, lives in The Oaks estate behind Morrisons, and bought the house especially because it backed onto woodlands.

Now, he’s devastated after Taylor Wimpey, which owns the land, ordered workers to cut the large trees down to stumps, because of ‘essential maintenance’.

Mr Wilkinson, who lives with his wife Gaynor in Parish Gardens, said: “I’m really annoyed this is happening.

“I put a gate in my back fence so I could walk straight out into the woodland, and Gaynor and I regularly walk the dog there.

“It was one of the reasons we chose this house. We’ve been here for five years now, and we’ve put a lot of money into it.

“I’m worried this work will devalue it.

“I used to be able to look out of my upstairs windows onto trees; now I can see right into the other properties, and they can see me.

“We’ve all lost our privacy and it annoys me that developers can get away with this.”

He added: “People spent all last week using chain saws on the trees, and there were big wagons to take the trunks away.

“There’s just no need for it.”

Mr Wilkinson was concerned Taylor Wimpey was making way for more houses, saying it looks like they’re creating a ‘clearing’.

“It must be for houses,” he said. “I don’t think there was anything wrong with the trees. I’ve worked in landscaping and I know a diseased tree from a healthy one.

“The housing development is still ongoing, and the plans indicate that some of the trees on the border of the woodland would interfere with building work, but they’ve taken down ones in the middle of the clearing as well.”

He added: “I called the council but they said I need to put something in writing to find out what’s going on,”

“The council doesn’t care; more houses just means more council tax to them.”

But Taylor Wimpey said the work wasn’t to make way for more homes in addition to the 425 already planned or built.

A spokesperson said: “We are undertaking essential tree maintenance works at The Oaks, as approved by the local authority.

“We are not removing trees to build more houses on the woodland.

“We are now into our fifth and final stage of building homes at The Oaks and we are selling well.”

South Ribble Borough Council said that felling of the trees had been approved as part of the planning process.

It added that as part of the mitigation, Taylor Wimpey has agreed to re-plant new trees for that development this winter.