COUNCILLORS were left annoyed over an "embarrassing" paperwork mix up which led to trees being "attacked" mistakenly by contractors.

Buckley councillor Mike Peers said he received a call just after lunch on Thursday informing him workers were cutting up two large, distinct trees in Drury.

He said: "As local councillors, myself and Dennis Hutchinson hadn't been advised of any work planned to take place on these trees. "I went to the site in Drury Lane and sure enough, large pieces were being cut off them.

"They said they had permission from the county council to cut them down as they were dangerous.

"We waited for the council's tree officer to come down and he claimed there had been a 'mix-up' in the paperwork and they had chopped off the wrong part of the tree."

Cllr Peers said the work has meant the trees have now lost much of their canopy.

He continued: "Unfortunately the damage had already been done, and one of the trees had mostly been cut down.

"But we have managed to put a stop in agreement with the officer on any work taking place on the other tree.

"We're annoyed that we were not part of any consultation process and it is embarrassing that we were not aware of it and had to be alerted to this by a member of the public - and of course about the paperwork mix-up.

"It's not the contractors issue, but when a tree has been attacked this way by mistake, I say it is pure vandalism.

"Whatever the outcome, if these trees do come down now they will need to be replaced because they are such a prominent landscape feature.

"We would support the felling of any tress that are considered dangerous, but a lack of consultation, mistakes in the paperwork, and felling the wrong parts of the tree are unacceptable.

"Hopefully we can retain as much as what remains without there being a total loss to the local landscape."

A Flintshire Council spokesman said: "The trees, which are in our ownership, were inspected earlier this year following concerns expressed locally about the safety of the sycamore trees at the site.

"Following a professional assessment of the condition of the trees a recommendation was made that one stem from each tree leaning towards the neighbouring property would be removed and other branches hanging over the garden would be pruned back.

"This would meet our responsibility to ensure the long term health of the trees and that they do not adversely affect the neighbouring property. The work was passed to a contractor we use regularly to undertake tree maintenance work.

"No work was to be done on the side of the trees facing the road as these are maintained by a contractor working on the behalf of Scottish Power to ensure a safe clearance between the trees and overhead electric cables.

"As no trees were to be removed the local member was not informed of the intended work, as is our normal practice.

"Unfortunately, our instructions were not followed and we will be discussing how this happened with our contractor. We have also informed Scottish Power.

"Cllr. Peers has been made fully aware of the situation and should it be necessary to remove the trees at a later date then replacement trees suitable to the site would be planted."