I REFER to your headline of January 25, Residents Conkered.

The events cast no credit on the council's stewardship of our environment, nor on their ability to carry out a simple public relations exercise.

The tree in question, one of the most magnificent specimens in this area, was condemned to an early death by the developer and officialdom. Not because it was diseased, but, according to the council representative at site, because "he could not place a preservation order on the tree, due to potential water damage".

No tree has an indefinite life, but are we to believe that a temporary order could not have been issued pending further investigation of this and the other three trees which shared this plot?

Depending on the outcome, local residents could then have been informed of the fate of this natural haven.

However, among the questions to be asked are whether or not the council planners had another agenda in place that hastened the premature removal of this tree and its neighbours.

We have been given to understand that the plot was purchased by the developer only on the preceding Wednesday.

A previous application for planning permission to extend the garage at this site was turned down.

Now I am told that six flats may be shorehorned into this land, close to a busy junction, soon to become busier, and Bicknell Road, used as a parking spot for parents waiting to collect schoolchildren.

Are we, who live in this congested Surrey Heath, to stand by and suffer the indifference of our elected councillors and their assistants and the continuing depredations of local developers? It seems so.

HD Gilchrist, Broadwalk, Frimley.