A TREE replacement notice is being pursued after an area of woodland was torn down without permission.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, trees at Scorey’s Copse on Botley Road, Horton Heath were pulled down by the landowner.

Despite being told to stop, work continued until all the trees were down with diggers said to have been used to pull the trees over.

On Monday morning, work began again with all the tree’s being piled up and workers attempting to burn them using “tyres and petrol” according to councillors.

Now though, Eastleigh Borough Council says it is pursuing a tree replacement notice for the site with some of the trees cut down said to have had Tree Preservation Orders on them.

This notice would then require trees to be re-planted at the owner’s cost.

The exact number and make-up of the replacement trees is being determined by the council’s tree specialist.

Daily Echo:

An abatement notice has also been served to prohibit any burning of material that could cause smoke.

This comes after a stop notice was issued for the land meaning that no development work can take place there for 28 days whilst legal teams work on additional action.

Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Cllr Keith House said: “This destruction of trees is a criminal act and I hope the council is able to mount a successful prosecution to bring this perpetrator to account.

“The council has a zero-tolerance policy for the felling of protected trees.”

Neighbours to the land claimed they were woken up on the mornings of the work by the sound of the digger and the lights which carried on until around 8pm at night.

Michelle Marsh, ward councillor for Fair Oak and Horton Heath, added: “I did speak to the councils head of legal team today and they have assured me that the councils enforcement and legal teams are actively looking at the evidence to see if any criminal offences have occurred.

“We would be asking that trees that were indigenous to the country and of significant value in a climate emergency were planted.”

The Echo attempted to speak to the landowner but were unable to make contact.