‘Horrified’ residents in a South Yorkshire community have branded a building firm ‘spiteful’ – after it began axing trees on green land it was refused permission to build on.
Developers Network Space applied for planning permission to build up to 64 new properties on land off Blue Mans Way, in Catcliffe, near to the Parkway.
Rotherham Council refused the application last month on the grounds it would result in the loss of a developing woodland on green urban space.
The refusal followed 70 letters of objection and a petition against the plans signed by 119 people.
But on Wednesday residents were shocked to see workmen axing trees and shrubs from the land.
Nick Howarth, resident of Blue Mans Way for 12 years, said: “We are absolutely horrified. The application was refused as the land is green space – now they’re chopping all the green down.”
Resident Judith Bland said: “I think they are doing this out of annoyance at the planning refusal. It seems a very spiteful act.”
A spokesman for Network Space said they were clearing the land as part of ‘good estate management practice’.
They said six trees would remain due to environmental and ecological reasons.
The spokesman said: “We are the landowners and are doing this by the books.
“We have undertaken tree surveys, ecology surveys and everything else required to ensure we are acting within the law.”
The spokesman did not confirm whether the firm will appeal the refusal.
Rotherham Council’s Planning Manager, Bronwen Knight said an emergency Tree Preservation Order (TPO) relating to all trees on site has been issued.
He said a full inspection was carried out and officers found evidence of trees having been felled.
Mr Knight said it has been agreed with the firm that no more tree felling will take place. However, the company does have the right to appeal against the TPO, he said.