A tree protection order has been labelled “rather unfair” by the Arbroath house owner who planted the trees on his garden sand bank more than three decades ago.
Councillors voted narrowly to confirm the order put in place by planning officials after proposals emerged to bring the trees down for development of a house in Colin Keillor’s Cairniehill Gardens home.
The mix of specimens includes beech, horse chestnut, ash, sycamore, holly and pine.
Official Alan Hunter told development standards councillors: “The trees are on a prominent knoll and are considered significant in relation to the amenity of the area.
“It is a feature we consider deserves protection. We are satisfied the trees are healthy and don’t present any significant issues in relation to safety.”
Mr Keillor told the committee: “I would question everything that has been said. The trees are of no value or significance.
“These are trees I planted 36 years ago when I built the house – not all the trees are to be taken down.
“Tree roots are causing the wall to bulge and we have had problems with limbs falling off. Last summer one fell across Cairnie Loan, fortunately it didn’t hit anything.
“The TPO has only come along after 36 years just because somebody wants to develop it – it seems to me rather unfair.”
Moving against the TPO staying in place, Brechin and Edzell Independent councillor Bob Myles said he was concerned about the condition of some of the trees and the stability of the banking.
“I’d be happier if they were taken down rather than blown down,” he said.
Arbroath West and Letham SNP councillor Alex King said he did not want to see the trees go.
“They do add to the landscape, they are a feature,” he said.
“This is one of a line of eskers running all the way to Keptie water tower.
“A TPO doesn’t stop the landowner doing the appropriate maintenance if they are damaged or in danger of coming down, but it is certainly a landscape feature I’d like to see retained.”
Committee convener, Arbroath West and Letham Conservative David Lumgair said: “I think we have to listen to our tree protection officer on this issue.”
Councillors voted to confirm the order, which will protect them from unauthorised felling and give the authority power to secure replacement future planting as trees reach the end of their useful lifespan.