Pictures show a community demonstration outside a car dealership on Plough Lane following the destruction of eleven trees. 

On Thursday, May 20, residents and councillors stood outside Trust Ford, who recently acquired the Cambria Automobiles’ Ford dealership known as Dees. 

It comes after residents discovered that a 30-year-old tree canopy had been removed from its site just hours after it opened on May 14. 

MORE:  Wimbledon Car dealership apologises after destroying 11 trees

Your Local Guardian: Before and After ( Before image credit: Google )Before and After ( Before image credit: Google )

Wimbledon Park Conservative Councillor Edward Gretton called on Merton Council to investigate the planning breach after concerns were highlighted by residents.

Following the backlash online, Trust Ford said it was never their intention to "cause so much upset" and said they will replant a new line of trees and shrubs around the site.

A list of pledges included a £5,000 donation to a community allotments project and an invitation to their Princes Trust apprentices to plant a tree at every one of their 60 sites across the UK.

But, residents and councillors have since called on the company to explain why they chopped the trees in the first place. 

A spokesperson from Trust Ford could be seen talking to Lib Dem Councillor Paul Kohler outside of its premises on Thursday. 

Plough Lane resident Mehmood Naqshbandi attended the protest on Thursday, he said: "Nothing we can do will restore the mature trees, but the felling has raised such widespread anger that in just a few days scores, maybe hundreds of people have come together to protest and demand restitution. 

"TrustFord went from dismissiveness, to token gestures, to abject apology and commitment to instate semi-mature trees, in just five days, as its
public image crashed under community pressure. 

Your Local Guardian: Credit: All images by Paul Gapper Credit: All images by Paul Gapper

"We now hope that the council too will recognise the strength of public feeling and pursue Trust Ford to test our fears that conservation laws were broken."

Resident Auroskanda Vepari said: "Trust Ford have made a disastrous debut in Wimbledon demonstrating how sustainability remains a marginal consideration for big business and big brands.

"They have sadly shown how large budgets for sustainability deliver nothing more than lip service, and their business processes remain disconnected with local or global environmental priorities. 

Your Local Guardian: Credit: Paul Gapper Credit: Paul Gapper

"The community hopes that going forward, TrustFord can not only restore the damage and implement remedial measures but go well beyond that and demonstrate that that big business will put their money where their mouth is and operate in a more sustainable manner among the communities they operate in and hope to do business with."

MORE: Merton Council responds to tree felling 

In a statment issued on Thursday morning, Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member responsible for planning enforcement confirmed that the trees were felled without authorisation from Merton Council.

Your Local Guardian:

“We have insisted that Ford replace each of the felled trees with new semi-mature trees, plant additional trees along the nearby riverside, work with our schools on environmental projects, and give a significant financial contribution to local community allotments," he said.

“In the interest of value for the taxpayer, we do not want to resort to legal action, so we’re pleased that Ford is swiftly making good on the destruction it has caused, but we do not rule out further action.

“Environmental damage like this will not be tolerated."