Subscribe for free updates[ Via email ]
[ Via Facebook ]
The residential development at 283 Sutton Street Warragul would have seen neighbours paying for the removal of cypress trees on their land for the safety of the development.
A motion by Warragul ward councillor Gerard Murphy at last week’s Baw Baw Shire council meeting put the cost of removal on the developer.
“Where existing vegetation, including cypress trees, obstructs boundaries… the permit holder must, at their cost, remove the vegetation including stumps and roots,” Cr Murphy said.
The conditions also put requirements on disposal and the development of nature reserves.
Speaking to councillors at the start of the meeting, neighbour Philip Rebecchi said the tree removal costs would be high.
“We have 26 of those mature cypress trees – those would be 12 to 15 hundred dollars per tree (to remove),” Mr Rebecchi said.
“That’s what’s been just blindly dismissed here by people just (addressing) trees.”
Mr Revecchi also raised concerns about the effect of the removal of the trees on the local environment, especially in their rose as a wind break.
“The loss of these trees will affect the amenity of the block,” Mr Rebecchi said.
“The poor people who buy those blocks there are, whether they are told or not, are going to have a very [high cost] heating and cooling.”
Another neighbour, Catherine Bordenaro, said the removal of the trees would be a loss to the area.
“I had a good study of the shire website and every picture the council uses to promote the area includes these trees,” Ms Bordenaro said.
Ed Denovan, the first resident of Bella Vista Drive, said the removal of the trees next to his property would affect his retirement.
“I’ve spent all my time planting and developing my site… approaching self sufficiency and when a tree dies I plant two in its place,” Mr Denovan said.
“I am approaching my retirement and I was hoping [for a] quiet life, but no, it seems we are not allowed to.
“It’s traffic, it’s infrastructure, it’s a further cost, it’s a burden on everybody.
“I have many trees on that boundary and I object to any one of them being removed. I understand any angst neighbours have, but they’re encroaching on our land.”
A representative of the developer raised concerns about some of the conditions on the permit and said the council should not place further tree removal requirements on the developer.
There may yet be further changes to the plan though as there is still time for objections to be made to VCAT.
“This is a notice of decision because there has been a lot of objections, so it will sit on the table for 21 days and if anyone still has objections to this they can apply to VCAT for objections to be placed,” North ward councillor David Balfour said.
The motion to give planning permission was passed unanimously.