A 100-year-old oak tree has been cut down in Frogmore, close to the St Albans Rail Freight site, leaving residents fuming.

The tree was located behind homes in Hampden Place and shielded the view of the work taking place at the former Radlett airfield.

Tash Alexander, who has lived on the road for three years, said that residents "pleaded" with contractors, working for land developers Segro, not to cut down more.

"It’s heart-breaking," she said.

"The tree was lovely, home to birds and squirrels and offered a barrier between us and the ground works going on at the site.

"But now it’s gone and instead of looking out at a beautiful oak tree we now have an uninterrupted view of a building site and green hoarding fences."

Residents believe the tree was chopped down after a neighbour asked for an overhanging branch to be cut back.

Herts Advertiser: Angry residents Tash Alexander (left) and Susie Taylor.Angry residents Tash Alexander (left) and Susie Taylor. (Image: Andy Cairns)

"There’s a huge difference between lopping off one branch and chopping down a whole tree," said another resident, Susie Taylor.  

"They also chopped down a couple of smaller trees behind our homes and were set to continue until we begged them to stop.

"It’s corporate vandalism and shows no consideration for people who have to live here."

In a statement to the Herts Ad, Segro confirmed residents' suspicions that neighbours had asked for branches to be removed, but they revealed that they changed their minds, and asked for them to be removed when contractors arrived at the site.

READ MORE: St Albans couple in court over Patisserie Valerie fraud charges

"We received a request from two local residents to remove branches from two trees located on land owned by SEGRO that were overhanging their gardens and causing them safety concerns and a risk of damaging their property," said a spokesperson.

"When our contractors arrived to undertake the work, the residents asked for the trees to be removed completely, as they were blocking light entering their homes.

"As a gesture of goodwill and given that these trees were due to be removed in line with our planning permission, we agreed to their request.

Herts Advertiser: Before and after the tree was cut down.Before and after the tree was cut down. (Image: Andy Cairns)

"As part of the development, we will be planting around 4,250 trees and 132,050 tree whips."

St Albans MP Daisy Cooper met residents in Hampden Place, and has promised to support them by setting up a liaison group to allow the developers to explain the works schedule and discuss concerns with residents.

"It’s good that someone is properly listening to and trying to address the concerns of those residents most directly affected by this," said Nuala Webb, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Park Street.

"They’ve been ignored by Herts County Council, ignored by the Secretary of State and ignored by Segro, who have done nothing to explain what’s happening in land outside these people’s windows.

"It brings into focus the folly of trying to build this monstrosity directly next door to housing. No other freight terminal in the country has housing so close.

"Segro are likely to continue initial ground works while the legal process that could stop the development continues and it’s important there’s proper liaison with the people who live alongside it."

Campaigners fighting the proposed rail freight terminal staged a protest outside the planned southern entrance to the site on Saturday, with about 40 members of Save St Albans: Fight the Freight carrying placards along Watling Street in Frogmore.

The group has also lodged judicial review calling for the development to be blocked, believing they have evidence that shows that the land should be retained as permanent open space.

The submission was lodged last week and the court is now waiting for a response from Herts County Council who sold the green belt land to developers Segro at the end of June. 

"We wanted to raise awareness of the latest developments," said Terrie Smith, one of the organisers.

"The evidence we’ve uncovered, and the legal submission from our barrister, has given us hope that this inappropriate and monstrous development can still be stopped."

Campaigners say HCC bought the land for £1 in 1985, on the condition it was permanently maintained as open space.