Residents welcome halt to tree felling at Fergus Drive until nesting season ends

By Ian Marland at

Tree felling has been suspended at a building site in North Kelvinside following local protests.

Westpoint Homes said it had listened to residents and would put on hold any further works.

North Kelvin Community Council said it would welcome better engagement with the homes builder.

Protesters on Fergus Drive

Residents are calling for evidence that the work is permitted. Photo: Judith Gaertner.

Police attended the site on Friday when contractors returned for a third day.

Around 20 local residents greeted the tree surgeons with placards.

People living nearby said they were concerned the work was being done during the bird nesting season and without permission.

Felling is not normally done between and March and August and strict laws are in place to protect wildlife.

But Westpoint Homes said it had followed procedures and its actions were lawful.

A spokesman said: “Westpoint Homes have all of the required permissions to allow the removal of a select number of trees on the site.

‘Responsibilities’

“These permissions include planning permission, conservation area consent, and a letter from the planning department confirming they are satisfied with our proposal to protect those trees that are remaining.

“As a successful developer of over 30 years standing, we take our responsibilities very seriously and ensure that we always have all required permissions in place and that we follow all current legislation and best practice guides.

“With this in mind, senior personnel from Westpoint Homes met local residents this morning to listen to their concerns surrounding the removal of the trees at this time.

“It has been agreed between the parties that no further works will take place in respect of tree removal until the 1st August.”

Tree being felled

A mature lime tree was removed on Wednesday. Photo: Nick Higgins.

The developer has acquired the site which has planning permission and consents for 19 apartments.

Around 300 objections were received from the local community when the plans were first aired.

The city’s planning committee rejected the scheme but that decision was overturned by a local review body.

Consent to demolish the existing buildings – a former gym – was granted on appeal to the Scottish government.

The planning saga has created local resentment at the way the matter has been handled.

‘Better engagement’

Local community council member David Conway said: “The North Kelvin Community Council would like to see better engagement from the developer with the local community.

“We had tried to facilitate such discussions during the planning process and had been disappointed this offer was not taken up by the developer.

“It is clear that with such a development, in a busy area, near to schools and busy roads that there will be a lot of disruption and noise.

“Regular discussions with local residents would be welcome to manage and minimise disruptions where possible.”

A local resident added: “The locals welcome the decision by Westpoint Homes to suspend the work on trees and shrubbery and we also welcome their agreement to work with a local community liaison group in an effort to resolve issues of concern going forward.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said on Friday: “We are aware of a peaceful protest on Fergus Drive in Glasgow today.

“Officers are in attendance and are engaging with the organisers and the local council.”