RESIDENTS are angry that trees planted to shield their homes from a factory have been cut back.

A row of trees lined the edge of the Hydram Sheet Metalwork factory site, on Chilton Industrial Estate, blocking the factory off from homes on Denebridge Row, Chilton.

They not only blocked off the residents’ view of the industrial unit but also helped muffle the noise.

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Recently the trees, which are 30-feet from the homes, were cut back.

One homeowner, who asked not to be named, said: “We don’t mind pruning being done but there is pruning and there is pruning.

“We can see the factory and we can hear the fork lift trucks. The trees did a fabulous job and they muffled the noise.

“We feel they could have consulted with us. We’ve been left with this view and it’s an eyesore and it could devalue our houses.

“The trees will grow back but how long with that take? They look like they have been scalped.”

Durham County councillor Christine Pots, who covers Chilton, said: “I think they are on the factory site so Hydram can do what it wants with the trees, but it’s a severe pruning.

“If the residents had been consulted then it might have eased the situation. I’ve spoken to Hydram and I’ve told them that the residents are very upset.

“I was told that the pruning took place to encourage growth from the trees as they didn’t get enough light.”

Coun Potts said Hydram had offered to plant conifers to replace the trees. The residents do not want conifers as they feel the roots will damage their homes.

Hydram Sheet Metalwork declined to comment.