THE felling of ‘hundreds’ of woodland trees has been slammed.
Bulldozers moved onto the woodland off Foxwood Chase, Huncoat on Saturday, September 12.
Residents have been fighting a campaign against development plans for the site since the original planning application for 31 properties was submitted to Hyndburn council last year.
The plans by Morris Homes were later scaled back to 27 homes, but an appeal over the planning committee’s rejection of the scheme was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate last month.
Ward councillor Eamonn Higgins said residents woke in disbelief on Saturday morning to find that a tree felling operation had begun.
He said: “I was inundated with phone calls.
“I visited the site to find that hundreds of trees had been cut down and mulched, it was such a sad scene. “Decades of wildlife’s habitat destroyed in a morning.” Coun Higgins added: “We knew nothing about it. It would have been nice to have known in advance.”
Rob Rothery, 63, who lives on Badgers Close which is situated behind the site, said he was ‘angered and saddened’ by the tree felling.
He said: “They were cutting trees down from 8am until 7pm, when they had finished the site looked like a ploughed field.
“It is such a shame.
“The woodland was very popular amongst walkers and children who played up there.
“It would have been nice to have had some kind of notification.”
The retired sales manager added: “They have left a buffer of trees around the edge but from my conservatory I can see right through.”
Former Huncoat ward councillor Dave Parkins said: “I have seen the devastation and it is just unbelievable.
“Residents were up there demonstrating on Saturday against this, you would think that they would have been at least informed of the plans.”
Morris Homes did not respond to the Observer’s requests for a comment.
Inspector dismisses Huncoat development appeal - turn to page 33