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Protected trees chopped down to make way for luxury Monifieth housing

The development site on Hill Street.
The development site on Hill Street.

Residents have hit out after protected trees were chopped down in Monifieth to make way for luxury housing.

The felled trees at the Hill Street site included specimens ranked as “mature” in a survey by Langton Tree Specialists.

It comes after planning permission was granted late last year to build 20 flats on land formerly occupied by Seaview Primary School.

The school is currently being transformed internally to house some of the flats.

Two new buildings will also be erected on the land.

The works have led to protests from local residents, with one accusing Angus Council of “environmental hypocrisy” for approving the chopping down of much-loved trees.

The local authority said it had to balance concerns against the need to protect “regionally important” buildings and has insisted any protected specimens will be replaced.

Three letters of objection were lodged against the plans.

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The site was home to a number of beech, lime and silver birch trees.

The felled species included wellingtonias and sycamores, despite them being labelled as having “significant amenity value”.

It’s understood one of the trees that was chopped down had been disrupting a wall, with a visible crack beginning to form on the outside of the stone structure.

David McGlone, who lives near the Hill Street development, said: “This perfectly displays the hypocrisy that exists when it comes to climate change.

“When Ashludie Hospital and grounds on Victoria Road were recently developed the mature trees were protected and the developers worked around them.

“This does raise the question as to why the council didn’t give this the same protection, financial problems perhaps outweighing environmental protection.”

Other local residents echoed the concerns.

One couple, who asked not to be named, said representatives from the local authority’s planning department were on the site late last week.

An Angus Council spokesman said: “The planning permission, given by the development standards committee on November 13 last year, acknowledged that it would be necessary for a number of protected trees to be felled in order to allow retention of the listed building.

“The council must strike a balance between the need to retain a regionally important building and the desire to retain locally important trees.

“Discussions around tree works on site are ongoing and trees will be planted where trees are lost.”

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