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Council criticised over tree felling

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By Euan Maxwell
Dumfries and West
Council criticised over tree felling
CHIPPED . . . the trees were felled earlier this month

TWO Dumfries residents have slammed the cutting down of trees to make way for affordable housing in Lincluden.

Developers Ashleigh are preparing to demolish Lincluden Parish Church and build 11 houses in its place.

Early work has seen the felling of 26 out of 28 trees – oak, cherry, damson, poplar, silver birch, copper beech, Douglas fir and rowan – despite being identified as being in good condition by tree surgeons last year.

Permission for the work was given by Dumfries and Galloway Council, despite objections that it contradicted their climate emergency declaration and goal of achieving net zero carbon by 2025.

Opponents Jeanette Abendstern and Brian Leaver said they are dismayed at the “destruction wreaked on the woodland”, adding: “We fail to understand how the council can sign off enlightened and committed polices only for its planning department to override them in granting the building of supported accommodation on this site. An alternative adjoining area of grassland could have been considered in its place.

“An opportunity missed here for the council to demonstrate its commitment to biodiversity and the natural environment.”

BEFORE . . . the site last summer

Plans submitted by developers note that the site is not designated a protected open space and added: “Lincluden is well served with open space areas with Popeyes Park which has been the subject of a separate redevelopment project. This is within easy walking distance of the application site.”

Responding, Ashleigh area manager David Roan said: “Existing trees and new landscaping works were fully considered by DGC during the planning process. The development includes retaining specifically identified trees, along with the introduction of new trees, as part of the approved landscaping layout.

“We understand that there were a number of objections and concerns during the planning process, but we confirm that we are meeting all necessary conditions imposed by the local authority as part of the works.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council failed to comment.

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