RESIDENTS on a Costa Blanca mountainside who cut tree branches poking into their windows have claimed police turned up demanding they obtain ‘a permit’.

The incidents took place during a protracted battle with Denia Town Hall, in Alicante, after residents found their homes suddenly within the boundary of a nature reserve.

An association for the Marquesa IV urbanisation, on the Montgo mountainside, say the town hall has ignored their complaints as a pine forest sprung up around them.

Residents fear that a lack of ‘fire breaks’ is making their homes a prime target for forest fires – something which intrusive branches make even worse.

José Luna, vice-president of the neighbourhood association, submitted a first denuncia at the end of 2018 asking Denia Town Hall for ‘more control’ to stop the ‘fire risk’.

After that denuncia received no reply, a second denuncia was made in May.

CINDER BOX: Residents fear their homes are at risk of forest fires

This latest denuncia asked for permission to ‘prune’ the trees creeping into few windows and turning the urbanisation into a ‘cinder box’.

Luna said to Las Provincias that the denuncia has also ‘had no response’.

He said that when residents took shears into their own hands, however, the police ‘immediately’ turned up ‘warning them that in order to prune, they should notify the town hall to obtain permission’.

The Denia councillor responsible for the Department of Ecological Transition, Maite Pérez, said: “I was unaware of the problem because I’ve been in this job for a month.”

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