You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘tree removal Marrickville Metro’ tag.
The proposed expansion of Marrickville Metro shopping centre has been recently recommended for approval by the NSW Department of Planning. This is interesting as the large number of submissions that were against the proposed expansion organized by local community group Metrowatch far outweighed submissions in support. Of importance is that both Marrickville Council & the Marrickville Chamber of Commerce did not support the expansion of Metro. It is feared that the expansion to almost double in size spells trouble for the area on many fronts; an anticipated 4-million extra shoppers annually would result in 50-60% more traffic as well as extra pollution, noise, littering, garbage trucks, delivery trucks & the impact on our local shopping strips.
Metrowatch have gone into the issues deeply & have listed ways in which you can help try to prevent this DA from getting final approval. See – http://metrowatch.com.au/
I was particularly concerned about the proposed removal of the many mature trees that surround Marrickville Metro. I saw removing these trees as the equivalent of removing a park in terms of carbon sequestration. The trees help improve the air quality by removing CO2 & particulate matter from vehicles, very important with such heavy concentrations of new traffic coming to the area. They add significant beauty, shade the area & make it a pleasant place to walk for pedestrians. Also of vital importance is that the trees provide habitat & food for a wide range of birds & for flying foxes. We don’t have many large trees in Marrickville LGA so we need to keep those that we do have.
The design of the new expanded Metro was 2 great big white blocks with a couple of trees. This was altered on subsequent designs to include more trees. They were always mature Gums, probably Lemon Scented Gums, a lovely tree, but would need at least 3 decades to grow to the size depicted in the artist’s depiction. To lose all those Hills Figs & Brush Box trees seemed unthinkable & would have a massive negative impact on the locality. From being a unique green & leafy shopping mall on the outside, the new expanded Metro would actually decrease the urban forest & remove an important location for biodiversity.
The approved concept design shows that the amount of trees marked for removal has decreased significantly from the original proposal, which is very good. However, there are still issues of concern. The following is what has been recommended for approval regarding the trees. -
- A mature Nettle tree, 7 mature Hills Figs & 7 Acacia trees will be removed – making a total of 15 mature trees to be removed.
- 16 Hills Figs will have selective branch pruning. Shame, because all the Figs had their canopy pruned in 2011. As most of these Figs have up-growing limbs due to previous formative pruning, any further removal of branches will result in a significant diminishment of the canopy. Pruning Figs that are used to shade also puts these trees at increased risk of exposure to the elements & can result in sunscald & moisture stress. Both can result in tree death.
- 8 Lemon-scented Gum trees (Corymbia citriodora) & 2 other Eucalypts on Smidmore Street will have their canopy pruned. Also a shame, as these are phenomenally beautiful trees that add much to the streetscape.
Of concern is the following –
- The historic & veteran Moreton Bay Fig at the front of historic Mill House will be undergo “internal diagnostic testing to determine decay.” I cannot understand why this tree is treated like every other Fig at this location & not actively cared for by the National Trust & Marrickville Council. This Moreton Bay Fig was probably planted around the same time as the historic Mill House that was built in 1860. At around 152-years-old, this would be one of at most a handful of Figs in Marrickville municipality of this vintage. The tree is in an extremely vulnerable situation right next to a busy footpath & road. Before Christmas I received a phone call that a man was climbing this tree putting up fairy lights. The tree also underwent pruning of a number of branches last year & no-one knows why.
This tree will also undergo “further investigation via root trenching to determine extent of root spread & impact on the proposed development.” Why? It is located at the street front in Victoria Road, many metres away from the shopping building itself. Let’s hope a Veteran Tree Specialist Arborist is involved when this happens.
Because of its age, this tree is of historical importance to the whole community & as such should be cared for on an ongoing basis by an Arborist who is a Veteran Tree Specialist. We are lucky that this tree has been retained, but unlucky because it is has not been singled out for the specialist treatment it deserves. There are people who love trees that would travel to see this tree. That alone should interest Metro as these people would likely go into the shopping mall during this visit.
- The large mature Camphor laurel at the rear of the Mill House will undergo “internal diagnostic testing to determine decay.” It does have 2 sections of old decay so we will see how that goes.
- A Brush Box near Mill House will also undergo “internal diagnostic testing to determine decay.”
- 46 mature Hills Figs will undergo “further investigation via root trenching to determine extent of root spread & impact on the proposed development.” I’ve had a general look at the exterior walls of the Metro building & have not seen cracks so I wonder why the need to do any investigative trenching. I found the following information about trenching & it is quite alarming. – “Trenching near a tree can kill almost half its roots. Below ground, root damage is common from excavation & grade changes. Roots may be torn by improper excavation, opening wounds for disease organisms to enter. Fine, absorbing roots are lost by topsoil removal, putting the tree under stress. Structural support is lost by trenching too close to major roots, creating a potential hazard. Bruising or crushing of roots by heavy equipment may not be apparent from above ground.” http://www.treehelp.com/howto/howto-prevent-construction-damage.asp
- Lastly, a 5-metre plus mature Nettle tree that was removed by Metro last year without permission is listed on the plans as “for retention.” Metro should be required to replace this tree with another tree of the equivalent size when mature.
There will be a Planning Assessment Commission Meeting open to the public on Monday 13th February 2012 at Petersham RSL Club, 7 Regent Street Petersham from 1:00pm-8:00pm. If required, the meeting will continue from 3.00pm on Tuesday, 14th February 2012 until all registered speakers are heard. All who put in a submission will have received an invitation to attend & speak at the Planning Assessment Commission Meeting. If you wish to address the panel (Dr Neil Shepherd AM –Chair & Dr John Roseth) you need to register by contacting Ms Sera Taschner (02) 9383-2117 by 4:00pm Wednesday 8th February 2012.
You can download all the reports & the recommendation here – www.pac.nsw.gov.au
I have written previously about the Arboricultural Impact Assessment Report here - http://bit.ly/yHM07q
You can watch a short video of the trees of Metro here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAgUvoATtw0
Today the NSW Department of Planning put the Marrickville Metro expansion plans for exhibition on their website. Thanks to MetroWatch for letting me know. As I understand the process, The NSW Department of Planning has accepted AMP Capital’s plans for Marrickville Metro for review & assessment.
MetroWatch www.metrowatch.com.au writes, “…it does appear clear that AMPCI have still not addressed traffic issues, on street parking in residential areas, loss of business to shopping strips, loss of amenity to residents immediately surrounding the Metro, & they also refute the assertion that their community consultation was not adequate. In other words, most if not all of our issues remain a concern!”
The community has 1-month to send a submission to the Department of Planning about the exhibited plans for an expanded Marrickville Metro. The deadline for submission is Friday 18th March 2011. You can download the plans here – http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=3734
This was the Development Assessment Committee Meeting. Absent: Clrs Peters & Wright. Mayor Iskandar & Clr Hanna were both very ill & I hope they get better quickly. The following is my understanding of the meeting & all mistakes are mine.
The Gallery was full mostly with the community who came for Item 8 – the Marrickville Metro expansion. This was dealt with first & I did not remain for the other agenda items that were DAs for individual houses.
Part 3A Redevelopment of Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre – Clrs Hanna, Macri & Thanos declared a pecuniary interest because they own shops in Dulwich Hill & Marickville & left the chamber. Clr Hanna is also the President of Marrickville Chamber of Commerce.
4 people spoke, 1 for the expansion & 3 against. The person who spoke for the expansion worked as a taxi driver & said his previous work as an engineer made him have much concern for various aspects of the plan. He said that the Metro plan has 3 taxi spots which is not enough as Marrickville Rank is the main place to get jobs in the area. He had assessed the roads around Marrickville Metro & thought the levels suggested in the Drainage Report were insufficient & needed to be lowered 1.5 metres. The parking also needed to be lowered with standard barrier kerbs. He thought that as Murray Street was the major access for trucks, when they back into ramps they will block traffic substantially. He reminded Council that Marrickville Council IS the Roads Authority & the sale is not part of the plan.
He said heavy-duty pavement was needed at bus stops & bi-pass traffic hasn’t been discussed. He wanted a deferred commencement until stormwater & overflow issues for Murray Street, Edinburgh Road were addressed. He said he presumed Council will sell Smidmore Street & therefore didn’t include the issues of this street. He said the roads sit high while drainage sits under concrete ramps. He finished off with saying at least $1.5 million for road construction is needed before the Metro expansion goes ahead.
Three speakers spoke against the Marrickville Metro expansion. Some of the issues they raised were:
- the high level of disturbances, noise & litter that will only worsen should the Marrickville Metro expansion go ahead,
- it was a grossly inappropriately & high development not near a main road & surrounded on 3 sides by residential heritage houses,
- the expansion will affect our community indelibly in the future,
- AMP Capital have had a long-term lobbying campaign & that they are doubling the height, size & impact, not ‘revitalizing’ Metro,
- traffic will significantly increase in surrounding areas,
- although 2 of the speakers live opposite Metro, they have had no community consultation, nor have their neighbours,
- their Traffic Management Plan is inadequate & will take away parking,
- the loss of employment across Marrickville LGA would be massive as 50% of the money local shops currently earn will be lost,
- an Arborist needs to look at the trees surrounding Metro as these trees will be lost for the convenience of the developer,
- the laneway access near Edinburgh & Victoria Roads gives access to 18 garages & it is already difficult to exit this laneway. This area is a cross road, not a t-intersection & if the Marrickville Metro expansion goes ahead they may have to ask for traffic lights,
- there are many road accidents in the area & frequent road rage that can be realistically expected to get worse,
- delivery trucks to Marrickville Metro already break curfew & Metro intend to have 24 hour delivery hours,
- there is no guarantee Marrickville Metro will not charge for parking as happens at Broadway Shopping Centre which will further increase the competition for parking,
- They commended Council’s Report.
Clr Tsardoulias said Marrickville Council doesn’t want the Marrickville Metro expansion to go ahead. Clr Byrne said Council will not consent to sell Smidmore Street & that a Marrickville Metro expansion will have a detrimental impact on both Marrickville & the broader community. She said it was blindingly obvious it was a bad idea, that the plans are flawed & she was surprised it has got this far. She thought the loss of employment & the loss of trees are issues that need to be included in Council’s Report & reminded the community that the Minister for Planning is the final decision maker.
Clr O’Sullivan spoke about the devastation to shops on Glebe Point Road because of the Broadway Shopping Centre & Double Bay shops because of Westfield. She said the concept plan was amorphous & slippery & conducive to concealment. She also said IKEA will not be renewing its lease at Rhodes so Edgeware Road will become an artery.
Clr Phillips spoke about Marrickville Metro’s glossy PR shots which are deceptive & don’t show all the empty shops around the LGA. He thought their survey saying that most people want an expansion is also quite deceptive. He said Council doesn’t want the Town Centre at Metro & he didn’t support the sale of Smidmore Street. He said AMP Capitol want a voluntary agreement of $800,000 to allow for community infrastructure in Metro, but we already have our own libraries & this is private space. He mentioned 1,000 extra cars/hour on Saturdays & 500 extra/hour on Thursday nights. He said if it wasn’t a Part 3A, it wouldn’t have a hope of being approved through Council.
Clr Olive said that 13-55 Edinburgh was prohibited for reuse & that Marrickville Council’s Urban Strategy has never endorsed this kind of development. He said if the Minister approves it, he will be going against what the NSW state government has been telling Council for many years is not permitted. It should not go ahead & will be a detriment to the community. Mayor Iskandar said we will fight the Metro expansion & we will win. Clr Kontellis said Metro has been working on this for many years, that they asked for rezoning & it was given. She said 95% of Part 3A applications are approved & she felt cynical.
Clr Tsardoulias asked that the airspace in Smidmore Street be included in
Council’s Report & that Anthony Albanese had told him earlier that in excess of 500 submissions against the Marrickville Metro expansion have been received from the community. He said if the expansion goes ahead, local shops will have to drop staff & stay open longer to make up the difference.
One major aspect of Council’s Report is a recommendation to take Metro’s application to an Independent Hearing & Assessment panel (IHAP). This will allow the community another opportunity to speak about their objections to the plan. The motion that Council make a submission along the lines of the report prepared by staff was carried unanimously.
Just a reminder that the deadline for submissions opposing the Marrickville Metro expansion is this Friday 10th September 2010. To read more about the issues see - http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/marrickville-metro-expansion/