HARMONY Hill residents have been angered by the removal of trees near their property in the Skyline Drive area.
Recently trees at Clonmore Manor were felled leaving residents, whose homes back on to the area, upset.
One angry householder explained that he tried to stop the trees from being cut but his efforts were in vain.
“Last Wednesday morning, at about 9am, men arrived to cut down trees at the rear of my house at Skyline Drive. I tried to stop them cutting the trees but they said that they had authority.
“When I finally got speaking to the planning department, the beautiful fir tree at the bottom was now fully stripped of its branches and they were progressively working at cutting at the main body of the tree.”
Officials, he said, confirmed they had given permission to fell and ‘top’ the trees.
He continued: “I have subsequently been informed by the Downpatrick Planning Department that all decisions taken in relation to requests to fell and/or works to protected trees are a corporate Departmental decision following discussion of the request that had been received. This is the second time that trees at the back of my property have been felled and I thought I had nipped it in the bud last time but alas I have not.
“No words could possibly express my anger that the residents at Clonmore Manor continually try to have these trees felled or topped but I am equally angry that this has been allowed to happen - what on earth can we do to stop this happening again?”
He continued: “I have been living at Skyline Drive for over quarter of a century. About four weeks ago, for the first time ever, I was delighted to see a squirrel in my back garden. I have been feeding it peanuts to ensure that it keeps returning – but now, with the removal of the pine tree, its natural environment has been wiped out.”
A spokesperson for the DoE said: “The site of Clonmore Manor is protected by a Confirmed Tree Preservation Order. This Order became effective on May 5, 2006. The Department granted consent to fell two trees and reduce the crown of a third tree at a residential property in Clonmore Manor on March 13, 2012. It was conditioned that replacement planting be carried out with two rowan trees and one cherry to the rear of the site, each of a standard size of 3-3.5m in height and a girth of 10-12cm during the next available planting season following felling.”