trees more than a century old have been cut down to make way for a new housing estate near Doncaster town centre.
The felling of the nine 40ft plane trees has angered residents of Beechfield Road, who say they created a wildlife haven on land which is part of the Civic and Cultural Quarter redevelopment.
Planning permission has been granted for 97 dwellings on the site of the demolished Beechfield Junior School and land behind the old college.
Pensioner Mollie Lawson believes the trees were planted in the 1890s to form a boundary of Beechfield House, which used to be the town’s museum until the 1960s.
She said: “In summer they were full of birds and looked beautiful. They were lovely healthy trees and helped keep the atmosphere clean.
“We didn’t realise they were coming down until the tree surgeons turned up at 8am on Saturday and chopped them down. No-one seems to have considered their history, it’s so sad. My daughter cried when she saw it.”
Victoria Lawson, who also lives on Beechfield Road, said: “The only reason I bought this house was due to the location and mostly the trees – they gave privacy and protected this row of houses through the seasons.
“We also had a wide range of wildlife. Now they have all been destroyed along with what little serenity we had.”
Another resident, Elizabeth Chapman, said: “It’s all wrong. They could have worked round the trees, they had so many years left in them.”
Doncaster Council’s director of regeneration and environment, Peter Dale, said they received ‘minimal objection’ to the plans when outline planning approval for the CCQ development was granted.
“We always give careful consideration to trees and in this case the best tree, a wonderful large elm, is to be kept and additional specimen trees planted to complement the development.
“New housing is a fundamental part of the regeneration plans for Waterdale with new residents helping to bring the vibrancy back into the area.”