Wycoller man’s fury as trees are cut back to allow lorries into village

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A WYCOLLER man has hit out at Lancashire County Council following its decision to cut back eight trees standing on his land to allow heavy plant to pass along the road into the village.

Mr Keith Bennett, of Oak House Farm, said he had not been consulted about the work and said Pendle Council had not spoken to him about the revocation of tree preserbation orders which covered all eight trees.

The county council is carrying out the work so a septic tank can be transported into the village and sited near Pepper Hill Barn, but Mr Bennett said all roads leading to Wycoller were signposed as being unsuitable for heavy traffic and two of the three, through Winewall and Trawden, had corners which were difficlut to negotiate, while the third from Laneshaw Bridge was narrower.

“I have not been asked for my opinions on this. The trees will never grow back to what they are like now in my lifetime and I think it would have been easier to build a tank on the site rather than bring one on the road,” he said.

Lancashire County Council’s Nick Osborne, site access manager, said: “The county council is responsible for the waste water treatment system which serves Wycoller, and the existing system is failing and needs to be replaced to prevent pollution.

“We’ve been making arrangements in recent months to allow access for large plant equipment and site cabins to the site where the new treatment system will be built, and as part of this we first met Mr Bennett in May along with Pendle Council’s principal environment officer who is responsible for tree preservation.

“We agreed with him to trim back trees which are overhanging the road to allow access to the site, making particular effort to minimise impact on the trees as far as possible and under the guidance of the principal environment officer.

“We have met on site with Mr Bennett on a number of occasions and are continuing to work with him to agree what needs to be done, as we would much rather work with local people than rely on statutory powers which would require the landowner to trim the trees.”

Most of the works will take place on land next to Laithe Hills Bridge where a new settlement tank and pumping station will be built, and on the land above that near the entrance to the field where the treatment plant and reed bed will be installed.