A TREE conservation charity has lodged objections to plans for a £15million residential care village.

In April, Caldwell Developments submitted proposals to convert A-listed Caldwell House, near Uplawmoor, into independent and assisted living accommodation for older people.

However, Woodland Trust Scotland fears the project will have a detrimental effect on hundreds of trees in the grounds and local wildlife, including nesting birds.

Nicole Hillier, of the Trust, has now lodged formal objections with East Renfrewshire Council.

In the letter, she said the main fear was the loss of almost 12 acres of “ancient woodland.”

“We believe that ancient woodland is amongst the most precious and biodiverse habitats in the UK and is a finite resource which should be protected,” she added.

“The Trust strongly objects to the planning application on the basis of damage and loss to a number of areas of woodland during the proposed redevelopment works.”

The Trust is also calling for a buffer zone during any future construction to ensure that trees are not damaged during building work.

Ms Hillier added: “Ancient woods and trees are irreplaceable habitats. Once lost, they are gone forever.”

It is expected that, should the Caldwell House plan be approved, it would create some 85 full and part-time posts, as well as up to 200 construction jobs.

Proposals for the multi-million pound redevelopment of Caldwell House, designed by highly-respected architect Robert Adam, include a care home, offices, café, gym and shop, as well as houses and flats for older residents.

Scott Kennedy, director of Caldwell Developments, said: “The development will significantly improve access to woodland for the people of East Renfrewshire and bring the estate back to life.

“This application is perhaps the last chance to save this historical building.

“We are very pleased that Nature Scotland have stated that they support the plan to create a sustainable and diverse woodland.

“We would be happy to meet with the Woodland Trust to discuss their concerns and, should the development be approved, get their input into how we can both save Caldwell House and deliver a fabulous green resource for future generations.”