Neighbours have reacted with shock and anger after a row of trees blocking the M11 motorway noise and views were cut down with no prior notice.
The trees, believed to be about 40-years-old, stretched along an embankment next to the M11 northbound near Fiddlers Hamlet, Epping Forest.
They were removed by Highways England in work which started two weeks ago, on February 1.
People living in the hamlet say traffic noise from the busy motorway now reaches their homes all day and night.
“The noise is horrendous, the view is horrendous, and I want to know what they are going to do,” said Bob Millar, 59, of Mount Road.
“It has been there for 40 years, it protected us from all sorts of pollution – noise pollution, air pollution.
“All of a sudden, without notification to anybody, they just cut down the trees.
“We had no idea – no notification, no nothing.
“The first I knew of it was when they started.”
Highways England, which says it is “repairing and improving” the motorway between junctions six and eight, said a letter had been sent in the week starting February 1.
However some people claim they still have not received notification, and those who did say it was too late to do anything.
Some in the hamlet are now calling for compensation, or a fence to replace the trees.
The impact has been so severe for some people they are now considering leaving Fiddlers Hamlet altogether.
One neighbour said: “I might have to move.
“I have not slept this week since they have done the work.
“I am sitting in my living room and I can hear the road, it is all I can hear.”
A spokeswoman for Highways England said: “We are reconstructing the embankment of the M11 at junction six (M25), in order to do this we have removed some vegetation and installed a temporary compound within the field on Mount Road, Epping.”
She added: “We wrote to residents in the area last week [beginning February 1] about the work which is expected to finish mid-June.
“We apologise for any inconvenience this causes, but we have timed the work during the day to minimise disruption and we will ensure noise and disruption is kept to a minimum.”
After claims that some people had no response to complaints by Friday (February 12), she said: “We are committed to good customer service and have already been in touch with some local residents about this work.
“We aim to reply to enquiries quickly, and certainly within ten working days.”
There are currently no plans to replace the trees.