TREES have been felled in a Teesside community causing outrage among local residents.

Contractors were spotted cutting down trees at the former Northern School of Art campus on Green Lane, Linthorpe, earlier this week.

The building is not in the Linthorpe Conservation Area but is right on the edge.

Eileen Liggitt, who lives across the road, feels let down, while Councillor Philippa Storey has said it is soul-destroying watching the trees being destroyed.

Ms Liggitt said: “I feel that we’ve been let down by the council who could have protected those trees.

“The college isn’t pretty but was hidden by the beautiful variety of trees that were admired by so many. The willow, for example, the blossom trees. I for one never noticed the building.”

“Middlesbrough doesn’t have much heritage left and the once leafy Linthorpe has now, in one fell swoop, lost many more leaves. I, and others I know, are utterly devastated.

“I really can’t forgive this. It’s all very well planting trees but these 100-year-old ones are being felled without any discussion.

“As a former student of the art college and living across the road for 36 years, this has made me so sad. I know so many feel the same.”

The Northern Echo:

Cllr Storey, the Labour member for Linthorpe, said that she ran down to the site when she was told of the trees coming down.

She spoke to the contractors who had a map that showed the trees with tree preservation orders (TPOs) on them meaning they could not be chopped down.

Cllr Storey added: “They said very specifically we won’t be touching those trees with TPOs on, other than trimming the branches back on one because the branches were overhanging the path and were quite dangerous.

“There was a willow tree that was cut down as it had split down the middle and was dangerous, there were two dead trees that they were taking out but if they took other trees out, providing they didn’t have a tree preservation order on them, unfortunately, because it’s their land they can do that.

The Northern Echo:

“It’s shocking, it’s soul-destroying to watch. We need more trees, not less.”

Cllr Storey called for an overhaul of tree preservation orders. Middlesbrough Council was contacted for comment.

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