Anger as axe falls on trees

17 Dec 2020 05:31
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SHOCKED and angry locals have condemned the felling of trees on green space near their Horwich homes.

They say the first they knew of the plan was when workmen moved onto the land near Stocks Park Drive one morning and began the operation.

Malcolm Harrison, who chairs the Stocks Resident Association, condemned the move.

He said: "It is a total shock and so sad to see. People had no idea this was planned. During these times of Covid it has been important for people to have places like this to go to."

Gerry McKenzie, who lives near the site at Medway Drive, said: "We've had no warning that this was going to happen, the workers just turned up. It is just terrible to see the trees disappearing."

He added: "We also don't know what is planned for the land moving forward. We don't know what is going on."

Kevin McKeon, who represents Horwich North East on Bolton Council, said: "It is dreadful that these trees have been cut down. It is a huge shock."

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: "There is a 76-year lease on this land, which passed to a private company in 2013 as part of a wider initiative to free up council resources and raise funds for essential frontline services."

"There is currently no planning permission for building on this site and the trees that were cut down were not subject to any preservation order."

"It is the responsibility of the leaseholder to maintain and manage trees, but the council will consider requests to place preservation orders on the remaining trees."

A Bolton company called Landmark Collections manages the land for another business called Greenmount Securities. Both have registered offices on Lostock Office Park.

In a statement about the Medway Drive site, Landmark Collections said: "Greenmount Securities as a responsible landowner, commissioned professional arboriculturists to carry out work on this privately owned piece of land. This is entirely at their own costs and within all applicable regulation and legislation."

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