A Melton man is mourning the loss of hundreds of trees that have been cleared for development.

Terry Manning and members of local environmental groups all had a hand in planting the trees on the eastern side of Toolern Creek at Blamey Drive, Melton South, more than a decade ago.

A small number of the trees along Toolern Creek remain but most of those trees were cleared for housing development in one of Melton’s 11 new suburbs – Cobblebank.

Mr Manning said he wanted to raise the issue in light of this weekend’s National Tree Day, which will include a number of planting events around Melton.

“I assisted members of the Melton Bushwalkers, local environment groups and local school children to plant a few hundred trees in that area,” Mr Manning told the

Star Weekly.

“The trees were well established and would have made a natural park for the soon-to-be residents of the development … However, the majority of the trees have now been cut down.”

He said that although no laws had been broken, because the land is privately owned, he was “not impressed”.

“A few individuals have profited financially while the rest of us have lost a valuable asset.”

Melton council officers have visited the site to make sure the works are complying with the approved plan and confirmed that developers were following the legal requirements, Mr Manning said.

Melton mayor Sophie Ramsey said that, while she wants to ensure Melton retains as many trees as possible, some cannot be saved.

“We try and avoid trees being cut down, especially significant trees, to make sure that they are protected,” Cr Ramsey said.

“In the past two years we’ve planted in excess of thousands of trees through our grants programs and tree-planting days.

“If some trees needed to be sacrificed for housing to be built in Melton South, the developers of that estate would be required to plant quite a few more elsewhere to replace them. With development happening on eight fronts across the municipality … we have to be very careful in making sure that it’s a planned and systematic development so that Melton is not a patchwork quilt.”