You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘veteran Moreton Bay Fig 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