RESIDENTS have protested after a council stopped them from trimming trees they say make their homes dark.

In July, the Fir Lodge Management Company notified Hambleton District Council of its intention to lop the branches of seven beech trees overhanging the Fir Lodge land, in Northallerton's conservation area on South Parade.

The council responded by imposing preservation orders on the trees, preventing the company from doing anything without first informing the council.

But now four objections have been received from members of the company.

They say the trees block light, debris from them clogs the guttering, the branches may damage the building and fallen leaves make the ground slippery.

The council commissioned a tree survey and found that the number of trees should be reduced to four and the crowns lifted to five metres above ground level.

Steve Quartermain, director of planning and environmental services, said: "The value of the trees is considered to be important as they have a significant impact on local amenity value and the character and appearance of the conservation area.

"The trees' value would be enhanced and at the same time, in theory, cause less concern to the residents of Fir Lodge if the works to them were carried out in accordance with the arboriculturalist consultant's report."

The council's development control committee will consider the matter on Thursday, October 21.