RESIDENTS are fighting to save almost 100 trees that are under threat from a proposed new housing development.

Barratt Homes West has lodged a planning application with Glasgow City Council to transform the former Scottish Power site in Newlands.

Initial plans showed the 98 trees on the site, which borders the White Cart Water, would be kept but most recent designs show them being cut down.

This is despite tree surveys showing the majority of trees are in the highest category, Category A, for quality.

Local resident John Paul Tonner is leading the charge against the removal of the trees.

He said: “It looks like Barratt Homes are just taking down these trees in order to squeeze in as many homes as possible, regardless of them being a health-promoting aspect of the community and providing a green boundary to the site.

“It’s gone from being a very Scandinavian-looking, green development to being a pokey space with no trees.”

Scottish Power previously employed 1500 people on the site on Spean Street but moved its staff to new headquarters at Charing Cross.

The space is being dealt with in two parts: firstly, Barratt Homes submitted plans for 158 homes to be built on the car park, which has now been reduced to 132 homes. Then planning permission is expected to be lodged for the B-listed Cathcart House.

Some 85 of the 98 trees that line the Invergordon Avenue end of the site are in Good or Fair condition with only 13 listed as Fair-Poor or Poor with the majority estimated to be healthy for the next 40 years and others for 20 years.

John Paul has submitted an objection to the council, as have his neighbours.

He also believes council chiefs should be looking at an in-depth plan for the wider area given that, with new developments at the former Victoria Infirmary and the former Mansionhouse Unit, the area will see around 700 new homes and 1200 new residents.

He added: “It would be good to know that the council had a coherent vision for the area.

“We would like to think the council will take on board the thoughts of the community and that the consultation is not just tokenism but the consultation does not seem particularly robust.

“Cathcart House is an impressive building and could be used for so many other facilities than flats.

John Paul is organising a public meeting tonight at 7.30pm in Weirs Recreation Ground for the community to discuss the plans.

David Scott, managing director, Barratt Homes West Scotland, said: “While it is inevitable that a small proportion of trees will have to be removed, we will do everything we can to minimise this and ensure the development is sympathetic to the surrounding area. The application is still in its early stages, and we will look to hold a public consultation event in due course.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “An application as part of the proposal to create a residential development on the site has been received, and it will be considered in due course.”