Barratt Homes West Scotland has been criticised for chopping down mature trees on the former bus garage site in Hamilton Road, Motherwell
The company is set to submit a planning application to build around 75-80 houses and held a public consultation event in October to unveil its plans for the Strathearn Gardens development.
Barratt, who own the site, decided to move forward with plans to build houses after Sainsbury’s had its application for a supermarket on the site turned down by the council last year.
Last week contractors acting for Barratt arrived on the site to start clearing it in order to enable further investigations to be carried out.
At a previous planning hearing, related to the Sainsbury’s application, it was revealed the bill to decontaminate the land and make it fit for human habitation will run into millions.
In addition a sewer running below the site is set to be diverted to the western end of the site which will be given up for the dualling of Airbles Road.
Leyland Road resident Alan Crocket is in favour of the site being brought back into use, but was dismayed to see a number of healthy, mature trees being cut down.
He said: “I was in favour of the Sainsbury’s application, as a lot although not all local residents were, and new housing is a decent second best to have something done with this eyesore.
“Obviously there is no problem with dead trees, scrub and rubbish being removed, but I take issue with the healthy trees being cut down.
“In the Sainsbury’s application there would have been the loss of a few trees, but it seems Barratt are jumping the gun with cutting them down before their plans are even with the council.”
Mr Crocket submitted a complaint to North Lanarkshire Council regarding the loss of the trees.
A council spokesperson said: “The council received a complaint about trees being cut down so an officer visited the site to investigate.
“As a result, the council asked Barratt not to cut down any more trees, but agreed that they could continue to tidy the site and remove any trees or shrubbery that has already been felled. The company has agreed to this request.”
Barratt Homes West Scotland managing director David Scott said: “With the permission of the council we are currently undertaking some work on the Hamilton Road site, including some tree clearance.
“This will allow us to undertake further detailed investigations, which are required as part of the planning process.
“All works currently being undertaken are in advance of construction works, which will not commence until all statutory consents are approved.”