TREES near a town centre housing site in Musselburgh are being "trimmed back" to enable construction, a developer has said.

Craig Fairfoull, head of sales and marketing at Dundas Developments, said that branches were being cut and issued assurances that no trees were being removed at Mall Avenue, next to the company's Wireworks development.

This follows speculation on social media about what might be happening with the trees.

He said: "To enable construction of our brownfield The Wireworks development, we're having to carefully trim back a small number of trees on Mall Avenue, and we're doing so by working closely with East Lothian Council and the services of expert tree surgeons.

"We are categorically not removing trees and working to protect them while we commence work regenerating our brownfield development.

"We take our responsibility as a developer very seriously – and will always seek to enhance biodiversity wherever we can. At The Wireworks this includes a number of new trees being planted to transform former derelict land."

Livingston-based Dundas Estates, which is building 140 new apartments on the former Bruntons Wire Mill site, said it had no planning permission to take down any trees on Mall Avenue

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: "On Tuesday at Mall Avenue, an external contractor (not council) was cutting back overhanging branches encroaching onto the properties."

She said it appeared to be "fully permitted" but added: "A planning officer will visit the site to check on these works."

She added that the council's forestry squad were in Musselburgh on Monday carrying out further felling of diseased ash trees along the River Esk.