AN area of ancient woodland due to be cut down to make way for a property construction has been saved after the council gave it official protection.

Seven out of the 30 trees at the Kymin in Penarth were earmarked to be felled to make way for the construction of a single dwelling adjacent to Homeside House.

Now the entire woodland has been issued with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) by the Vale council – protecting all 30 trees from being cut down.

Responding to the TPO, John Lean, a resident who led local opposition to the property plans, said:

“The wood and the Kymin grounds are a pleasant and unique feature of Penarth. The Vale planners have made this TPO which should thwart the developers.

"I and all the local objectors are delighted that a TPO has been made protecting both the wood in question, and the grounds of the Kymin, and we trust that the planning proposal will now be withdrawn.”

The conservation area is classed as a 'restored ancient woodland' according the Woodland Trust, meaning it is at least 400 years old.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: “A Tree Preservation Order has been placed on this area of woodland, part of which relates to the planning application in question. The purpose of such an order is to protect trees with amenity value and ensure that where they are removed, suitable replacements are provided.

“This application has yet to be determined and will be treated in the same as any other. The views of all interested parties will be fully considered along with any other relevant factors before a decision is made.”

Writing in objection to the planning proposals, a representative of the Woodland Trust said:

“The Welsh Government has recognised that areas of ancient woodland are declining and becoming increasingly fragmented and emphasises the importance of conserving ancient woodland and its value as a biodiversity resource.

"Ancient woodland is an irreplaceable habitat, once lost it is gone forever. The Woodland Trust objects to this proposal due to the direct loss of this irreplaceable habitat.”

One resident described the woodland as a “haven for birds, bats, foxes and squirrels.”

Others have called on the Vale council to extend their commitment to tree coverage in the Vale.

David Burnett said: “The Tree Preservation Order for the ancient woodland behind the Kymin is tremendously important. According to the Woodland Trust, neighbouring Cardiff Council ’intends to boost tree cover from 19 per cent to 25 per cent by 2030' and hopefully the Vale will make similar pledges.”

The freehold for the woodland was purchased by Proxima GR Properties in 1985 from McCarthy and Stone.

A spokesperson for Estates and Management Limited, the freeholder’s agent who submitted the planning application, said: “We are aware of the Tree Preservation Order and are considering the matter with assistance from Hughes Architects, planning agents and building design consultants for the project.”