People of Brucehill and Dumbarton met today Sunday 24 04 to call for prosecution after trees felled illegally on site of Old St Michael's school, Dumbarton
Brucehill residents meet to protest against the trees being felled at nearby Clerkhill.

By Bill Heaney

One word from SNP-led West Dunbartonshire Council and people do what they like. Remember the protest against trees being cut down at Garshake despite residents  calling out the contractors who cut down the trees there?

This has happened again at the Clerkhill convent site in the West End  where people in the contiguous Brucehill housing estate have met and repeated their calls for West Dunbartonshire Council to revoke planning permission, after the trees were felled earlier this month.

The land at the former Notre Dame Convent is now owned by former Rangers director Sandy Easdale’s Slate Island Developments Ltd company, with planning permission granted for 81 homes on the site earlier this year – subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

It followed more than 200 objections from residents and the Lennox Heritage Society who took it on themselves to step in and condemn the deconstruction after more than 20 protected trees were brutally cut down.

The Easdale brothers, who have purchased the site for housing, pictured on a visit to Clerkhill.

A spokeswoman for Slate Island Developments said they regretted the incident and that it was “unintentional”.

However, this weak apology isn’t enough for West Enders and conservationists, who say they feel insulted by the actions of the developers.

One person said: “I would urge West Dunbartonshire Council to show that they are serious about protecting our trees by prohibiting any further works and withholding all planning permission, until a full investigation has been carried out into the destruction.”

Another Dumbarton resident, Mrs Edwards, an ecologist, told local journalists added: “The woodland bird nesting season was already well under way when these trees were felled.

“I feel there needs to be not just replanting, but replanting in the same areas – both the damaged TPO area and the lost boundary trees must be restored with the largest possible specimens of appropriate tree plus buffer planting to protect them.

“If the houses are still to be built, there needs to be stringent external monitoring and control of all works, at no expense to the taxpayer.”

Basket case West Dunbartonshire Council dragged their heels as they have done in past such incidents saying they are “extremely disappointed” and is considering what further action they might take.

Picture: The Clerkhill site which overlooks the River Clyde at Havoc in the West End. Brucehill is to the left and Cardross Road to the right.

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