A DOZEN trees "as tall as the town hall" have been cut down after a 21-year battle between Bolton Council and an elderly couple who live next door to Longsight Park.

Theresa Stott, who has lived in Harwood since the seventies, said her 88-year-old husband Norman is “thrilled to bits” as the sun can shine into their garden once more.

The neighbours affected by the Leylandii Trees in Longsight Park “overhanging” onto their property in Acre Field say they have been complaining to the council for decades.

Mrs Stott, 82, said the offending trees had been blocking sunlight from reaching their garden.

She said: “They kept saying they have no money to do it and it wasn’t a danger to our property. But I felt there was. They were that high, what if they came down?

“When they came on Monday morning, I just couldn’t believe it. I said, ‘We’ve got light in our garden. I can’t believe it.’ It’s honestly so beautiful and light looking into our garden.

“Norman was thrilled to bits when he looked into the garden. He likes the sun for his flowers.”

Mrs Stott thanked Bradshaw councillor Jacqueline Radcliffe for her help in getting the trees trimmed.

Cllr Radcliffe said the residents were very pleased with the result.

She said: “They’ve wanted them to come down for a long time. Even before I was a councillor. They got very, very tall. It does seem a shame to pull the trees down when it’s part of a park. But they are very pleased."

Friends of Longsight Park, a voluntary group set up six years ago, will now consider how they want to fill the area where the 12 trees stood.

She said: “We’ve not really decided what to do in place of it yet. It’s cleared a very big area. We won’t please everybody, I’m sure. People will say why aren’t you planting trees with global warming and all these initiatives. But there will be something of some kind to replace it."

The trees were planted in 1976 to create a French-style walkway in the park. But, speaking to The Bolton News in 2011, residents said that the trees have been left to grow “unruly”.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “The trees in Longsight Park were inspected recently as part of our three-yearly inspection cycle.

“It was decided that it was appropriate to remove them in accordance with the council’s policies for the management of its tree stock.”