Trees, which survived Storm Arwen, have been saved from the chop after councillors rejected plans to fell 48 of them to make way for new flats.
Applicants Mr and Mrs Lorn and Catharine Macneal who wanted to build two flats in the garden grounds of a property in The Hawthorns in Gullane had argued that the trees were coming to the end of life and pledged to replace them by planting more.
However East Lothian councillors questioned how they had withstood Storm Arwen when other woodlands in East Lothian were left devastated by the high winds, if they were not strong.
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And they agreed with objectors who asked how 60-year-old Scots Pines and a Sycamore tree, which was described by planning officers as being in "terminal decline" could be replaced by young saplings.
The owner of the property on The Hawthorns has already been granted planning permission to turn the house into two flats and applied for permission to build another two-flat block in the garden grounds.
A virtual meeting of East Lothian Council's planning committee today heard that previous applications to build a house on the grounds had been refused and a bid to fell 47 Scots pines and the Sycamore was also rejected five years ago.
This time around, despite the trees again being included in the plans, the council's planning officers recommended the plans were approved saying the trees were in 'poor condition' and likely to be windblown in the next 10 to 20 years.
More than 35 objections were lodged against the planning application over the loss of the trees and over development of the site.
One neighbour told the committee that when he moved into the small cul de sac he was next door to a four-bedroom family house.
Now he said the plans were to create four new properties with up to "14 bedrooms, a nine space car park and large bin storage unit."
Fellow residents of the street raised concerns about losing the trees which they said were planted as a windbreak and part of an 'environmental corridor' from the village to the beach.
Philip Coll, who lives in the street and is on Gullane and District Community Council said the community council supported local views of the importance of the trees.
He said: "It will take decades for new plants to reach the 55 ft height of the pines.
"These Scots pines are 60-years-old and can live for hundreds of years so they are really young trees.
"They survived Storm Arwen, which many in East Lothian did not. These are strong trees and it would be a shame to fell them."
Councillor Jeremy Findlay, ward member, said in 2017 when a tree felling application was refused for the trees, which are under a Tree Preservation Order, the council's own officers said their loss would have a "significant impact on the area of Gullane."
And he reminded fellow councillors that the local authority had declared a climate emergency and produced a climate change strategy.
Mr Findlay said: "Many in Gullane are watching to see if this council is willing to uphold its commitment to climate change or if it was just words."
Planning convenor Councillor Norman Hampshire supported the planning application saying the woodland management plan proposed by the applicants would protect the trees in the long term.
The meeting was told by objectors that the woodland had been sold to private owners by the council in 1972 with a number of "burdens" on it which should have prevented it being built or trees being removed as well as ensuring the woods were maintained.
Councillor Andy Forrest told the meeting: "I think If there had been some management of the woodland and we had seen a will to develop it and continue with it, it may have made this decision different but for myself I cannot support the application."
The committee refused planning permission on the grounds of the loss of trees and over development of the site by six votes to four.
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