A LUXURY hotel and golf course offered to save some of the trees which have been cut down on the former Blackwell Golf Club site, it emerged last night.

Warwick Brindle, chairman of Rockliffe Hall Hotel, golf course and spa in Hurworth, said on Facebook that it had been hoped the trees from the Carmel Road site could be taken to his golf course.

He said: "Just add insult to injury we asked if we could save some trees by transplanting them on Rockliffe Golf Course.

“We even offered to pay for them and pay the cost of the ‘relocation’. Our offer was turned down by the golf club originally because they wanted to protect the trees in the current habitat. So much for that plan then.”

Anger is growing among residents in Darlington about the trees being removed on the Story Homes development site in Blackwell.

Avenues of trees on the site and along the road have gone, after contractors were brought in to cut many of them down.

Local residents say dozens if not hundreds of trees have gone from the site, and others have described it as looking like a hurricane had hit.

The clearance is to make way for Story Homes’ development of 59 homes, which was granted planning permission by Darlington Borough Council in December.

While it is claimed many of the trees cut down were diseased, campaigners are trying to involve tree surgeons and experts, as well as gathering together the tree protection orders for the site.

Councillor Heather Scott, the ward councillor for the area, said locals were involved in extensive consultation over the plans.

But one local resident said: “We knew the building was going to happen. We knew that some trees would have to be cut down.

“But we didn’t know the extent of it. It is absolutely shocking. We didn’t know they were cutting down that many, or the ones at the side of the road.”

Others described feeling ‘sick’ when they drove past the once-leafy site.

A Darlington Borough Council spokesman said: “Extensive consultation has taken place on the proposed development. Planning permission has been granted to build houses on the site. An impact assessment was carried out by the applicant as part of the planning process. A number of trees were recommended to be removed and this is the work which is now being carried out.

“A site inspection was carried out and we can confirm that the tree removal that has taken place has been done so in accordance with planning permission.”