More than 250 angry neighbours have told bosses behind plans to cut down a historic oak in Bromley that they are barking up the wrong tree.

Trinity Village residents were left stumped at proposals to chop the huge and beloved oak in Mackintosh Road.

The tree – which neighbours say is 200 years old – is sentimental to residents living nearby, with hundreds writing to the council urging it to turn down the application.

The tree, which was given one of the borough’s first preservation orders in the 50s, is in a poor and dangerous condition, according to RMG – the company managing the estate.

The applicant argues this is the most cost-effective way to make the tree safe.

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RMG was told by the council to apply to fell the tree, which sparked a public consultation and 253 objections being filed.

Neighbours say losing the tree would impact on air quality, and point out that few trees hold significance in the area.

Councillors have now asked for the application to be decided at a planning committee next week, and officers have recommended the plans be axed.

Getting to the root of the problem, officers said: “The applicant is proposing to fell the tree as the most cost-effective solution and to address the risk to public safety.

“Enforcement action has been commenced against the applicant by the council to address the dangerous condition of the tree by the removal of the deadwood and the dead branches.

“However, the felling of the tree is not part of the enforcement action which is being undertaken by the council, as the instructing officer is of the view that it is only the removal of the dead branches and deadwood which is currently required to make the tree safe, and the felling of the tree is not required at the present time.”

Officers have recommended that “further management options be explored” before expecting a new leaf to be turned over with a fresh application in the future.

Councillors can branch out and decide for themselves at next week’s planning meeting, but it’s expected they will stick to officers’ recommendations.