Residents in a quiet cul-de-sac in Holmer Green are outraged after a number of “magnificent” 150-year-old trees were cut down without any warning as part of a plan to improve a church car park.

Maurice Lane, who lives in Church Side, near Christ Church, said the trees - which stood over 100ft tall - were chopped down by a team of tree fellers “without consultation or prior notice” on September 16.

A notice to residents from the church that was put up said that the “tree work” would help make way the “enlarging, resurfacing and repositioning of the car park entrance”.

Despite the work being deemed “necessary” by the church, Mr Lane said the removal of the tall trees is “tantamount to wilful destruction”.

He said: “I believe these trees are (were) Scotch Pines, stood about 100ft tall and from my observation of one of the felled trees are at least 150 years old. They also are in perfect condition with no disease or defects. They were very special.

“It is church property and the church may well have authority to do as they wish, but from a resident point of view it is upsetting. It was a shock to see what had taken place”

His wife, Gill Lane, added: “When we saw the notice go up saying the car park would be closed, we thought ‘oh good, they are finally going to be resurfacing it’.

“Nobody told us that these lovely old trees would be cut down. We have had no notification about that at all.”

A representative from the church did not respond to requests for comment, but the notice stated that the car park would be closed from September 14 to at least September 19, with no access during that time in a bid to improve the “disorganised” parking system.

It said: “It is our intention to resurface and enlarge the churches’ car park. As you know parking has been disorganised and without any system for some time. Necessary tree works will be ongoing until early next week to create space and improve the entrance.

“It is our long term objective to sell some of the land to create housing (two small chalet houses) and raise much needed funds to support the Parish Church, pay for the car park and recondition of the dilapidated Parsonage House (the white unused building in the car park).

“We will be putting all information on a noticeboard at the car park entrance when received. We apologise for any disturbance or inconvenience this work may cause.”

A spokesman for Chiltern District Council confirmed that the church was not breaking any rules by cutting down the trees.