Neighbours who objected to a council house build near their homes claim trees have now been chopped down to make room for it.
A survey carried out last year identified only two of the 35 on the site at Summerford for the axe, but workmen have now felled five and a sixth will disappear before the end of the month.
While the trees have gone there appears to be confusion as to exactly why.
Yesterday (Wednesday) the council insisted tree-felling was always part of the controversial plan. A spokeswoman said: “Approval was granted for the removal of four trees due to disease and removal of two trees due to their proximity to the development.”
But local councillor Gerry Goldie claimed: “The planning application approved indicated four trees required to be removed for the development of the site. A subsequent tree survey identified a further two required to be removed because they were diseased. At the meeting I attended at Glenfuir Court trees were mentioned and I am sorry if anyone gained the wrong impression from my comments. It would serve no purpose to try and mislead anyone concerning the number of trees coming down when most of the people in attendance had been briefed by officials at a site meeting when this was discussed as part of the planning process.”
Householders have watched in dismay as the trees, over 22 metres tall and thought to be at least 200 years old, disappeared. They campaigned to stop the council building four blocks of flats and two blocks of terraced houses on the open space but the council won planning permission - at the second time of asking - in February and work is now underway.
Angry pensioner George Smith (72) from Glenfuir Court claimed: “At a meeting of residents in April we were assured only one tree would have to be taken down because it was diseased. It’s clear people have been misled. The fact is they need all these trees away to make room.”
Harley Marshall (80) from Windsor Road complained: “The council was determined to build these houses regardless of what the people living here had to say.”