Trees in the Thistlemount Park area have been cut down following a long campaign by residents to have them removed.
Excessive leaves and blockage of light were the reasons given by householders wanting the trees felled.
One man from the area explained: “The trees were originally planted to screen the Prince William Road and cut down traffic noise from housing at Thistlemount Park, however, tree surgeons advise that the trees were of the wrong type and had grown beyond their proposed use.
“Shrubbery around the trees, and undergrowth had not been maintained - and had become a dumping ground for rubbish and the residue of drinking sessions by local youths.”
He continued: “The much used lane adjacent to the trees that runs at the back of Thistlemount Park is used by local parents to bring young children to the Killowen Primary School. It is also used by dog walkers and joggers. The trees and shrubbery blocked light from the path and created a potential danger, especially during winter months.”
Referring to a neighbour he said: “She is delighted with the work done, to date. As she was adjacent to around 80 per cent of the trees that have been removed her back garden has now got considerably more light. She hopes that shrubbery will be removed and the area landscaped.”
Alderman James Tinsley who alongside MLA Edwin Poots helped the residents’ in their successful campaign said: “Several meetings had been held on-site with the Roads Service and a tree expert and it was agreed that all the willows would be totally cut down as they were totally overgrown.
“Recently, with the inclement and blustery weather, branches were breaking off and falling into residents’ property. Now that all the willow trees have been removed, the area is much brighter and safer. It also make it a lot safer for residents to walk along the footpath.”
A Roads Service spokesperson said at this stage, “as discussed at a meeting in advance of the removal, there are no current plans to landscape the area”.