Bowgreave trees furore ends with planting vow

Residents are angry at the trees being cut down.
Residents are angry at the trees being cut down.
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A property developer has promised to replace trees it chopped down at a new housing estate without reaching agreement with council bosses.

Baxter Homes is building 25 new homes off Garstang Road in Bowgreave, Wyre.

The land is being used for new houses built by Baxter Homes.

The land is being used for new houses built by Baxter Homes.

But the firm left residents fuming after removing five trees – including an oak and an ash tree without any prior announcement.

A tree and woodland officer for Wyre Council said there was no preservation order on the trees – but said Baxter Homes had “acted before any agreement had taken place”.

Baxter said the trees were removed because they were ‘unsafe’ - but their removal angered local residents.

A member of a local residents group, who wished to remain anonymous said: “My opinion is that they have no regard for local people or the environment.

How the trees looked before being removed

How the trees looked before being removed

“We are so sad to see this recklessness, needless destruction and to see building companies like Baxter Homes doing whatever they like to cram more houses into tiny plots at the expense of the environment.”

The group claimed there had been numerous problems since building began at the site with phone lines being knocked down by a digger and a drain filled in which caused gardens to flood.

In an email to the member, a tree and woodland officer for Wyre Council said: “The trees on the Baxter’s site were not subject to a tree protection order, however, collectively they had a defined low retention value. It transpired that Baxter’s acted before any agreement had taken place.”

David Walker, development consultant for Baxter Homes, said the plan was always to remove the trees due to them being unsafe.

He said: “In any event their lifespan was very limited because there was a concrete slab underneath them.

“We will be replacing them with a landscaping scheme after removing the concrete and within a year or two the new trees will be better than before.

“People may get hot under the collar but this is called progress, we shall be replacing them.”

A spokesman for Wyre Council said: “They were seen to be in a dangerous condition and were removed to prevent damage to the surrounding area. The tree owner has a duty to replace these trees and has been given notice of this.”