This veteran Fig was planted around 1860.

After 21-months of lobbying by Marrickville Council & the community, the Planning Assessment Commission has approved the expansion of Marrickville Metro.

I was primarily concerned with the trees on site.  I am pleased that the Marrickville Metro will still retain its green leafy outlook, which is vastly different from the original designs released to the public.  I am pleased there is restrictions on how much canopy pruning can be done on the Eucalypts along Smidmore Street.  I am very pleased that the trenching to ascertain where the roots of all the Fig trees go, including the heritage veteran Fig tree outside the Mill House now has whole lot of restrictions & precautions to adhere to.   I hope Marrickville Metro decide to use radar to check the roots of the Figs instead of digging as it is totally unnecessary, especially for the heritage veteran Fig tree outside the Mill House. I also hope they spend money on employing a Veteran Tree Specialist Arborist for any work with this tree.  At around 152-years-old it is one of the very special historic trees for both Marrickville LGA & Sydney.

For the trees of Marrickville Metro this is overall a good result & a better outcome than I expected.  Thank you to the Planning Assessment Commission & Marrickville Council who negotiated issues with Marrickville Metro raised by the community members & others who addressed the panel at the Planning Assessment Commission meeting last February 2012.  Thank you also to everyone who wrote a submission about the planned expansion & included the trees as an issue of concern.

Community group Metro Watch fought much of the plans surrounding the expansion. To read their response, see – www.metrowatch.com.au

I include all that concerned the trees from both the final documents from the Planning Assessment Commission below for those who are interested.

“Several mature trees surround the shopping centre, which significantly enhance the character of the area. Concern has been raised with regard to any removal & pruning. This matter was discussed with the Proponent & Marrickville Council which both cross-checked recommended conditions & trees specified in D29, & verified their consistency with the Arboricultural Report. Conditions D29 & D31 have been strengthened in response to comments from both parties, including specifying a range of minimally-invasive root exploratory & trenching measures & resultant pruning/construction methods.

D29 Approval is given for the following works to be undertaken to trees on the site, as identified in ‘Appendix 3 – Site Survey’ in the Arboricultural Impact Assessment Report prepared by Integrated Vegetation Management (Report No. MA/ME/AIARTPS/E dated 2 November 2010): Approved Works,

  • removal of the following trees: Nettle tree number 37  (this tree was removed in 2011).
  • Hills Weeping Figs number 48, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 67
  • 7 Wattle trees
  • selective branch pruning of Hills Weeping Figs number 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,18
  • canopy pruning of Lemon-scented Gums number 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 84 &
  • canopy pruning of Gum trees number 9, 83.”  There has been no change to which trees to be removed & pruned.

D29  –

  • “if necessary to accommodate the approved building works shall be undertaken by an experienced & qualified Arborist. This qualified Arborist shall also verify the tree(s) have been correctly identified prior to the arboricultural works described in Condition D29 being carried out. For the purpose of this condition a suitably experienced & qualified professional shall hold: minimum qualification equivalent (using the Australian Qualification Framework) of NSW TAFE Certificate Level 3 or above in Arboriculture, a NSW TAFE Tree Surgery Certificate or its recognised equivalent, a minimum of 3 years experience in practical Arboriculture including demonstrated experience in tree surgery.
  • Pruning is limited to those branches of trees that will come into direct contact with the built structure.
  • Where a tree’s canopy or root system has developed across property boundaries, consent to undertake works on the tree does not permit a person acting on the consent to trespass on adjacent lands. Where access to adjacent land is required to carry out approved tree works, Council advises that the owner of a tree must be notified. Notification is the responsibility of the person acting on the consent. Should the tree owner/s refuse access to their land, the person acting on the consent shall meet the requirements of the Access to Neighbouring Lands Act 2000 to gain access.”

D31 –

  • “Structures are proposed within Tree Protection Zones (TPZ), as identified in the recommendations of the Arboricultural Impact Assessment Report prepared by Integrated Vegetation Management (Report No. MA/ME/AIARTPS/E dated 2 November 2010),
  • The identified location & distribution of the roots shall be carried out through non-destructive investigation, being either through pneumatic, hydraulic, hand digging or ground penetrating radar means. This exploration shall determine the presence & extent of root spread & any tree sensitive construction techniques & material which should be used for construction in these areas. Any recommendations shall be implemented during construction.
  • A qualified Arborist (refer to description for minimum qualifications in D29) shall determine if root pruning can be undertaken without impacting the stability or long term viability of the tree(s).
  • Excavations within the TPZ shall be undertaken by hand trenching/hydro vacuum excavation methods to minimize damage to tree roots.
  • Where the qualified Arborist deems root pruning to be acceptable, this work shall be carried by the qualified Arborist & pruned roots shall be cleanly severed with sharp pruning implements to ensure a smooth wound face, free from tears.
  • Severance of structural roots (>25mmø) within the Structural Root Zone shall be avoided as it may lead to tree destablisation.
  • The exposed roots & excavation face shall be protected from direct sunlight, drying out & extremes of temperature by covering with a 10mm thick jute mat that is kept damp at all times.
  • Where roots cannot be pruned tree sensitive construction methods will be required.
  • All root pruning shall be approved & verified by a qualified Arborist.
  • Council approval is required for any additional pruning or tree removals other than set out in Condition D29.”

Other points –

  • “Tree protection management measure for all protected & retained trees.
  • D27 No activities, storage or disposal of materials shall take place beneath the canopy of any tree protected under Council’s Tree Preservation Order at any time.
  • D28 All trees to be retained shall be protected in accordance with the Tree Protection
  • Removal or pruning of any other tree on the site shall be the subject of approval by Council.
  • D30 Selective branch & canopy pruning of the trees listed in Condition D29 if necessary to accommodate the approved building works shall be undertaken by an experienced and qualified Arborist, …including demonstrated experience in tree surgery.  Pruning is limited to those branches of trees that will come into direct contact with the built structure.
  • Where a tree’s canopy or root system has developed across property boundaries, consent to undertake works on the tree does not permit a person acting on the consent to trespass on adjacent lands. Where access to adjacent land is required to carry out approved tree works, Council advises that the owner of a tree must be notified. Notification is the responsibility of the person acting on the consent. Should the tree owner/s refuse access to their land, the person acting on the consent shall meet the requirements of the Access to Neighbouring Lands Act 2000 to gain access.
  • D32 Internal diagnostic testing shall be undertaken on Trees 20, 25 and 29 to determine the presence and extent of any decay in these trees. Recommendations should be made to maximize the retention potential of these trees. No approval to remove these trees is granted by this approval.  (These are the Camphor laurel & heritage Veteran Fig outside & around the Mill House).
  • D33 The removal of trees listed in Condition D32 from Council’s nature strip shall be undertaken at no cost to Council by an experienced tree removal contractor/arborist holding public liability insurance amounting to a minimum cover of $10,000,000. Following removal of trees from Council’s nature strip, the area shall be rehabilitated to the satisfaction of Council’s Development Engineer at no cost to Council.
  • D34 The canopy replenishment trees to be planted within the site shall be maintained in a healthy & vigorous condition until they attain a height of 5 metres whereby they will be protected by Council’s Tree Preservation Order.
  • Any of the trees found faulty, damaged, dying or dead shall be replaced with the same species.”  http://www.pac.nsw.gov.au/tabid/60/ctl/viewreview/mid/376/pac/172/view/readonly/myctl/rev/Default.aspx

 

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