POLICE were called to a quiet Gourock neighbourhood after residents staged a desperate demonstration against a new development near their homes.

People living in Dunvegan Avenue attempted to block workmen from cutting down a tree on a patch of grass amid a row about a proposal to build a house on the site.

A planning application for a two storey property on the sloped ground was submitted to Inverclyde Council has attracted 26 objections since being lodged.

The plans are yet to be decided on, but a tree and turf have been removed from the site.

Contractors were confronted by residents when they attempted to remove a tree in the middle of the site, with homeowners sitting down in front of it as they tried to prevent it being brought down.

The stand-off continued until police arrived on the scene.

The work was then completed, leaving people living in the area up in arms.

Lynn Perkins, who has lived on the estate for 40 years, told the Telegraph that the residents were upset that the site was being altered before the planning application was approved.

She said: "It's robbing us of an open space and making the area look worse in the meantime.

"We're standing here because they're going to pull down a tree to build a house that hasn't even been approved yet.

"The trees that are on this land help to soak up the water that comes down the hill from up at the golf course.

"It goes through people's garages and into their gardens, the houses across the street experience flooding.

"The planning isn't approved yet but all this work has already been done - grass has been torn up and the trees are to come down.

"We feel we've been walked over."

The development is the latest to spark controversy in the Levan estate, with objections being raised about another home in 2019.

Ian Smith, who has lived at Dunvegan for 43 years, believes that the land should not be developed.

He added: "This land has been a public amenity space for years.

"We would like to see the site reinstated to the grassy area that it was and we would like to see the trees kept.

"The council has to realise that the degree of upset, anger and disappointment among the residents of this area about this is considerable, and that they're not responding to that."

When contacted by the Telegraph, Euan Donaldson, the planning permission applicant and owner of the site, explained his position on the issues residents had raised.

He said: "I'm not some big bad guy, I'm a young 29-year-old trying to build something for his family.

"We've spent a lot of time working out where the best place to position the house is without being a detriment to a lot of people nearby.

"The tree in the middle has a risk of undermining the road long term because it's near the pavement, which is why I thought it would be sensible to remove it.

"On the flooding question, if water is going to pass through to across the road, it's going to pass way below anything that's on top.

"I don't think grass is going to fundamentally to stop that, but what we are going to do in the short-term is leave some grass in there and look at the natural drainage.

"There's been quite a bit of history in the surrounding area and I seem to be getting the brunt of that because I've bought the land without understanding the history of everything else.

"I'm trying to be as balanced as I can, but ultimately if I've bought something I need to manage the liability and do what I think is best for the longer term.

"Before we started doing anything we spoke to the council's planning department and got confirmation it was okay.

"I've been in construction for a long time, I do things right - I'm not some cowboy builder coming in."