Poor New Lambton Lillypilly 10.3.2011

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The community lost this poor tree in Council last night.

It’s outside a house that is to be knocked down. Council’s arborist had done a ‘tree retainability study’ on it and found that the tree could be kept if the house were demolished with care. Since the tree belongs to the whole community and Newcastle City Council values its urban forest, doesn’t that sound worthy? A tree protection plan was originally to have been lodged with Council – excellent.

http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/140238/item_1.pdf

The new house is going to be two storeys and one of the arguments in favour of the new development – replacing an in-character, small-scale miner’s cottage – was that the street tree would screen and soften the impact of the newer, larger house.

The applicants had the tree assessed by an arborist, Mr Dennis Marsden – well-known to Newcastle people as he assessed the Laman Street trees – who gave arguments against retaining the tree.

http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/144161/Item_7.pdf

He pointed out its included bark while saying that this didn’t mean the tree was in imminent danger of failing… He predicted an adverse impact on the tree’s root system from the development. (Not as adverse as felling it.)

http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/144160/Item_6.pdf

It was suggested in Council’s assessment that it was unfair to expect the developer to spend the money required to demolish the house ‘by hand’. Council’s arborist accepted Mr Marsden’s assessment and withdrew his objection to the removal of the tree.

The developer will have to meet the cost of planting a replacement tree. No indication has been given of the replacement species. I’m predicting a water gum or a crepe myrtle – or maybe even a magnolia. No – a tuckeroo. What’s your prediction?

Too bad that the community loses a tree which is worth tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention a landmark, native,  food source for birds and probably possums, a great shade tree, beautiful to look at – etc. Too bad that it may be twenty years before we get back the environmental benefit provided by this tree.

Thanks to the councillors who replied to my emails. Thanks to the residents who tried to save this tree. Home

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One Response to “Poor New Lambton Lillypilly 10.3.2011”

  1. chatty Says:

    Development worship!
    Shame on Dennis Marsden. How does he sleep at night?
    Better than the residents and inhabitants that loved that tree no doubt!

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