herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Fury as 100-year-old trees chopped down by builders

FAMILIES in a south Dublin suburb are devastated after 100-year-old trees were felled 'overnight' to make way for a new housing development.

Cosgrave Developments chopped down conifers which have lined the road for a century in their bid to build almost 1,500 new homes on the former Dun Laoghaire golf club site.

Homeowners on Glenageary Road Upper are angry since they claim they were not informed about it beforehand.

Linden Lee, chairperson of Bellview and Glenageary Residents Association, said: "People are absolutely disgusted. They find it unbelievable that any department would allow 80-year-old trees to be taken down."

"To cut them down...people are in shock. It's gone from a tree-lined avenue, and now all you see is concrete and cement."



CHARACTER

Cosgrave Developments said the beloved trees were chopped down in accordance with planning permission.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) included 66 planning conditions which required the developer to widen Glenageary Road Upper on both sides, and remove the existing boundary walls and the trees directly behind the walls on both sides of the road.

Councillor Cormac Devlin is furious that the county council should allow such trees, which have been important to the character of the road, to be felled. "The reality is that the planners who gave permission should have given them a Tree Protection Order. The golf club was there for 97 years so the trees are probably around 100 years old," he said.

"It beggars belief that they didn't put a preservation order on them. Very few of them were protected."

Residents insist that the trees provided vital shelter to wildlife such as foxes and squirrels, and these animals are now rendered homeless.

Cllr Devlin added: "It's caused disruption to the local area, and the residents have stated that they can hear foxes crying at night from where the trees were removed. Something has to be done for the wildlife -- they need to be fed."

Mr Lee agreed: "The trees provided screening and a nice ambience to the area. Then one morning people woke up and the trees were just hacked to the ground and shredded."

DLRCC has received a number of complaints about the felling of the trees along the boundary walls to the old Dun Laoghaire Golf Club lands.

But a spokesperson confirmed: "The developer has to carry out extensive new planting of trees and shrubs."

However, the residents are adamant that serious damage to their area has already been done, and the replanted trees will take decades to grow to the same size as the conifers.

Cllr Devlin added: "The trees provided a natural canopy across the footpath but now the whole street is bare.

"The aesthetic has been completely destroyed."

hnews@herald.ie

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