A community group has failed to halt the felling of mature oak trees on the site of a controversial housing development at Kinross, labelling it “an environmental catastrophe”.
The site at Lathro, between Kinross and Milnathort, has permission for 300 houses but objectors to the destruction of a group of 12 trees claim the council failed to follow proper procedures regarding environmental reports.
They are currently considering options including legal action over the matter.
The felling began on Friday and although work stopped over the weekend following protests, it resumed again on Monday.
The site, which has a history as a farm going back to at least the 1600s, had been “trashed” as a result, said the activists.
“Mature 100 plus year-old oak trees have been butchered in minutes, the site has been stripped bare of any wildlife habitat,” said the group made up of community activists from Kinross-shire Civic Trust (KCT) and the Lathro Action Group (LAG)
“This represents an environmental catastrophe and reflects all that is bad about the development industry when they literally bulldoze their way into a virgin green field site.”
A spokesperson for KCT added: “The destruction of wildlife habitat is sickening, it represents the worst kind of environmental vandalism.
“We believe Perth and Kinross Council has failed in their duty to take proper account of environmental law, have not correctly processed the planning application and that as a result the permission granted for the development is unlawful.
“We plan to take steps to seek a remedy by all means available to us.”
With the threat of legal proceedings the council declined to become embroiled in the row saying: “At this moment, no proceedings have been intimated to the council and we cannot comment further.”
Iain Innes, managing director Persimmon Homes North Scotland, said: “Planning permission has been granted for the wider development, and includes the felling of these trees.
“These works are now being carried out strictly in accordance with the planning consent and following proper ecological inspections.
“The wider development will deliver a landscaped country park including substantial woodland planting between Kinross and Milnathort, which will be accessible to the public.”