You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘submissions’ tag.

Gloriously beautiful trees which are a huge asset to Newcastle

In sad news, Newcastle City Council has chosen to ignore the Independent Arborist Report done by Mark Hartley regarding the Laman Street Fig trees.  Mr Hartley is a senior consultant for The Arborist Network & was employed by the community to assess the trees & comment on the previous Arborist’s Reports commissioned by Newcastle City Council.

Mr Hartley’s Report was clear. The trees were in no danger of falling & significant aspects of previous Arborist Reports had got it wrong.

Regardless, none of the Newcastle Councillors have decided to bring the issue back to the Council Meeting, nor have Newcastle Council themselves changed their mind about the fate of the trees. Disappointing.

Newcastle Council did say when they first announced the trees will be axed that they would put on a couple of community events to allow the community to say goodbye to the trees.  However, they have changed their mind about this as well.  Perhaps it’s because the print & television media are constantly writing about the issue & the community are commenting in large numbers.  To chop the trees down as fast as you can means the issue is done & dusted, no use speaking about it again.  Disappointing.

I was naïve enough to think that 400 plus submissions, a community petition of over 4,000 signatures (& growing now that people realize the trees will be chopped down) & Mr Hartley’s Arborist Report would have meant that the issue would have returned to Council.  The vote to chop the trees down was only 7-5. This is not an overwhelming outcome in my mind.

It’s a dreadfully sad outcome & one that will stick in people’s minds for decades.  People believe the trees are safe. They have the proof in that not a single branch dropped during the Pasha Bulker storm or the 2 extreme high-wind storms since. One of the storms was within the last month.  They also have the Arborist Report commissioned & paid for by the community. These things are not to be scoffed at. That an Arborist of Mark Hartley’s standing was prepared to put himself on the line about the health of the trees has convinced the community that Newcastle City Council got it wrong.

Next week & for the following 3 weeks, 14 beautiful healthy Fig trees that are aged about ½ their lifespan will be chopped down. Newcastle will be worse-off for it.  I wish the community did have the power to prevent this from happening.

To read Mr Hartley’s Arborist Report – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/independent-arborist-report-for-newcastles-laman-street-figs/

Please read the post by Save Our Figs about the announcement that the trees will be chopped down. This website has followed the process of the removal of the Laman Street Figs from the beginning & makes for very interesting reading – http://saveourfigs.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/an-historic-day-13-9-2010/

Advertisements

Gloriously beautiful trees which are a huge asset to Newcastle

I have posted about Newcastle’s Laman Street Figs on 3 occasions. Newcastle City Council have wanted to remove the 14 Hills Figs since late 2009. The trees that could realistically described as ‘grand’ are planted on both sides of Laman Street creating the most perfect cathedral effect. It is a glorious entrance to the Newcastle Art Gallery.

The Laman Street Figs have been around for around 8 decades & are a significant part of how the people of Newcastle see their city.  I guess an equivalent would be to remove all the Fig trees from Sydney’s Domain. It would change our experience of the NSW Art Gallery all together. We may get used to no trees, but if it wasn’t entirely necessary, I doubt anyone would want it to happen at all.

This is how it is for the people of Newcastle.  96% of submissions said they wanted the Laman Street Figs to stay.  On 17th August 2010 five out of 7  7 Councillors 7 Councillors voted to remove these iconic Figs. 5 Councillors voted to retain them.  The community went into meltdown.

Caitlin Raschke set up Save Our Figs http://saveourfigs.wordpress.com/ &

continually fought for the Figs.  A group of residents called Fig Jam support Save Our Figs & have protested on a number of occasions by holding placards & picnics trying to draw attention to the plight of the Figs.  People said over & over again that it wouldn’t happen & the Figs will stay.

And why not? Anyone could see these trees were bursting with health, except health wasn’t really the issue.  Newcastle Council said the trees had no roots & were a severe danger to the community in that they would fall down & kill someone. The community didn’t believe this assessment.   These trees survived the 124km/h extreme winds that occurred during the Pasha Bulker storm in 2007. That they would now fall in much lesser winds did not make sense.

The annual Arts Fair held under the trees were cancelled. Council erected signs to stay out of the area during high winds. Then they made the street one-way. Then they started blocking off the street during windy days. Then they started blocking off the street at night, then permanently, except for the few hours when the NSW Governor Professor Marie Bashir was an esteemed quest at a function at the Art Gallery. For those few hours the chauffeur-driven limousines were parked outside the gallery under the killer trees. This time the community wondered why it was safe for the NSW Governor, but not for anyone else.

Newcastle Council had a charette (big talk-fest). From the original 2 days to talk about the future of Laman Street the issue was given a bit of time tagged onto the end.

Then the Mayor said that the Figs should be chopped down leaving the stumps in the ground & these should be carved into famous people making a dramatic entrance to the Newcastle Art Gallery.  This was voted against at a subsequent Council Meeting.  Then Council suggested that Liquid ambers be planted in place of the Figs & the community started writing letters about what they saw was an inappropriate choice of tree for this location. Then came the Councillors vote on August 17th 2010 & the trees are lost or so it may seem.

An Independent Arborist Mark Hartley, a senior consultant for The Arborist Network was contracted by the community to comment on the previous Arborist’s Reports & assess the trees, as well as their risk of falling.  His report is very interesting. I am attaching the final draft as a pdf that you can download if you are interested.  Mr Hartley has the skill of writing about specialized issues in a way that people who don’t work in the industry can understand.  The report also compares the assessments of 3 other Arborists so you get to understand what has gone on before. Mr Harley outlines substantial errors in previous assessments.

So where to now?  The community is not sitting by until the men with chainsaws arrive.  Newcastle people are very upset about the decision to remove these trees & many who didn’t believe that the trees were at risk have now written letters & spoken to the media & radio. Thankfully, the media is responding to the community by reporting on this issue often.

You can read the Final Draft of the Independent Arborist’s Report by clicking on the following link. The document is 340kb in size.  Thank you to Save Our Figs for allowing me to share it.  Independent-Arborist’s-Report-Laman-Street-Newcastle-final-draft

The following are earlier posts on the Laman Street Figs –

August 2010 – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/newcastle-council-to-chop-down-the-iconic-laman-street-figs/

July 2010 – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/a-plan-to-turn-newcastles-laman-street-figs-into-sculpted-stumps/

April 2010 – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/newcastles-iconic-laman-street-fig-trees-at-risk/

A view of part of the canopy of the Laman Street Figs from Civic Park

Submissions opposing the Marrickville Metro expansion were due by 27th August, but I am pleased to say a 2-week extension has been granted by the NSW Department of Planning.  Marrickville Council initially requested an extension of 30 days to allow the community 2 months to campaign against the Metro expansion.

The deadline for submissions is now Friday 10th September 2010.

Their e-mail is – Plan_comment@planning.nsw.gov.au It is called – Major Project – MP_0191 – 34 Victoria Road Marrickville.

To read about the issues & the potential loss of 142 healthy trees – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/marrickville-metro-expansion/

The periphery of Marrickville Metro is surrounded by trees. The site is a significant patch of green in this largely industrial area. Marrickville Council protected the wall and the brick path by a heritage order when Metro was built. This part of our history deserves preserving as well.

This week I counted the following trees around the current Marrickville Metro & the block where they intend to expand.

67 Fig trees, 9 Brush Box trees, 3 Camphor laurel trees, 8 Eucalypts, 4 Palm trees, 1 Canary Island Palm, 2 Melaleuca trees, 8 Bottlebrush trees, 4 Peppercorn trees, 10 Wattle trees & 26 unidentified species of trees.

TOTAL POTENTIAL TREE LOSS = 142 trees

There are another 24 medium trees on site that may be included in the development bringing the potential total tree loss to 166 trees.

Just some of the trees at risk of removal if the Marrickville Metro expansion goes ahead. The trees create a lovely ambience around the Metro, collect air pollution from vehicles, bring significant beauty to the area, sequester large amounts of CO2, help to lessen the Heat Island Effect & provide homes & food for urban wildlife. Their loss will be devastating.

AMP Capital say the Fig trees only have an average 5-15 years left to live. In ideal conditions, Figs live 150-200 years.  Although these trees are not in ideal conditions they are very healthy. To replace the trees they plan to plant 28 Eucalyptus paniculata (Grey Ironbark) along Murray Street & low level accent, grass & groundcovers “to ensure that general safety, sightlines & CPTED principals are maintained.” – meaning all signs & the building will be very visible as if the height of the new buildings is not enough.

More of the trees at risk of removal.

I think losing these trees will be a huge loss for the community, for air quality, for beauty of the area & for urban wildlife.  Currently most of Marrickville Metro is hidden behind large beautiful, healthy trees. I cannot imagine the area without them. Most of these trees are mature & took decades to grow.

Still more trees at risk of removal

The Metro expansion will also result in a 65-68% increase in traffic from an estimated extra 4 million customers a year. It will destroy our local shopping strips & remove much of the individual kind of shop that make the Inner West unique.

I asked a taxi driver standing outside Metro what he thought, thinking he would be for the expansion as it would bring him more business. He replied, “It will kill the local shops in Marrickville, Enmore & Newtown. I don’t think it will be good for us.”

Marrickville Metro want to buy Smidmore Street. Every bit of green is at risk of removal

AMP Capital also want to purchase Smidmore Street from Marrickville Council.  I think there is a big chance that Council will sell Smidmore Street to help with their financial situation.  In last Wednesday’s Sydney Morning Herald

Council sources said a figure of $8 million has been discussed for the purchase of Smidmore Street, along the shopping centre’s southern boundary, but that no formal offer has yet been made. Several councillors told the Herald the council is united in refusing to sell Smidmore Street ”on principle”, but would not comment on whether that position would change if the project gained approval. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/mall-goes-a-street-too-far-opponents-say-20100811-11zqg.html

In return for traffic gridlocked streets, parking problems, much more noise, air pollution, visual pollution & the potential loss of at least 142 beautiful trees, AMP Capital will give us many more shops like we can get at close-by Roselands, Eastgardens or Broadway shopping malls. They are also offering a small library & a community education board.

We already have a number of fabulous & free-to-use libraries courtesy of Marrickville Council & a public education board is nothing to get excited about.

The car park of Marrickville Metro is surrounded by the canopy of the Figs & other trees providing a buffer to surrounding properties & creating an ambience unknown anywhere else in Sydney. They also prevent particulate matter (known to cause lung & heart disease) from the vehicles from dropping onto the street & surrounding properties.

The expansion to double the size of the current Metro makes me wonder where the customers are going to come from. Around 2-3 years ago, all the shops in Metro were required to do a specific renovation as part of sprucing up Metro & their rents were raised.   A number of shops were struggling to meet this cost & some moved out to set up shop elsewhere.  Since then, there have always been vacant shops in Marrickville Metro.

I am of the belief that AMP Capital would not be investing millions to do the expansion if they weren’t absolutely sure they will make bucket-loads of money.

All these trees are at risk of removal as well

Right now the area is classified as a village, but if the expansion goes ahead, the Department of Planning may be within their rights to reclassify the area as a ‘Town Centre’ simply because of the size of Marrickville Metro.  This will mean that development in the league of Bondi Junction & Hurstville will be allowed.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see the industrial-zoned areas around Metro being rezoned residential.  Once that is done, a ‘unit city’ can be built very close to Metro.  Then, to cope with the massive increase in traffic, the M6, an arterial road that is planned for Edgeware Road may one day be built. Edgeware Road is already often bumper-to-bumper.  The Marrickville Transport Action Group say – Cardigan St, Edgeware Rd, Liberty St & Kingston Rd are key to the F6 plan.

http://www.marrickvilletag.org/html/transport_johnsonscreek_history.html

Who knows if my theories have any weight, but it does make more sense as to why such a huge shopping mall is being planned when there are not enough current customers & it constantly has a number of empty shops.

The proposed Metro expansion is going to have a massive impact on Marrickville & surrounding suburbs in terms of traffic & pollution.  To my mind, it is not just an issue for residents who live nearby & shop owners, although it is an appalling prospect for them.  The expansion is an issue that will affect many of us because:

  • it will choke many of the roads that are at capacity now
  • it will likely weaken our shopping strips reducing choice & this often negatively affects variety of products & price
  • it will reduce competition
  • it will bring more 19-metre long semi-trailers to our narrow suburban streets  &
  • it will take away the community feeling that shopping strips help create, because these are public spaces where we retain all our rights as citizens, whereas shopping malls are private spaces under the control of developers/corporations.

Unless the community come out in great numbers & say they do not want the Metro expansion, it will happen.

If you are against any aspect of the planned expansion, please send in a submission to the Department of Planning by Friday 27th August 2010.  Their e-mail is – Plan_comment@planning.nsw.gov.au

It is called Major Project – MP_0191 – 34 Victoria Road Marrickville. If you would like a draft submission please send me an e-mail.

Community group Metro Watch are having a public meeting –

  • this Thursday 12th August 2010
  • 7pm
  • Herbert Greedy Hall 79 Petersham Road Marrickville.

The plans for the massive expansion of Marrickville Metro are now on public exhibition & will be presented. There will be a range of guest speakers – Marrickville Mayor Sam Iskandar, Federal Greens Candidate for Grayndler Sam Byrne, some Marrickville Councillors, some local business owners & the Metro Watch secretary.

THEN

  • this Saturday 14th August 2010
  • 11.15am
  • Gather at the BBQ spot Enmore Park at the corner of Black Street & Victoria Road Marrickville

After a 15-minute update, the group will walk together 100 metres to Marrickville Metro to attend a community consultation session held by the AMP project team & Elton Consulting.

This is a seriously big Fig with a girth of many metres. It stands near the front entrance of Marrickville Metro on Victoria Road & it is one of more than 100 mature trees that will be removed should the expansion of Marrickville Metro go ahead

Resident action group Metro Watch say they have communicated with over 1,000 local residents.  Almost everyone was under the misconception that Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre was undergoing ’revitalization’ & that revitalization meant a cosmetic face-lift of Marrickville Metro.

AMP Capital is planning everything but a cosmetic facelift.  More than 4 million extra shoppers & a 65-68% increase in traffic is not a cosmetic facelift. Nor is the removal of more than 100 trees, (how much over 100 trees is not known as yet), many of them big, beautiful substantial trees.

The community has this perception because the term ‘revitalization’ is used in all of AMP’s community newsletters.   Oh the power of words.

Please come to both these community meetings. Children are welcome.

The deadline for submissions to the Department of Planning is Friday 27th August 2010.  I will be writing more about this development & will write a draft submission that I can e-mail to you for you to change as you like.

We do not stand a chance against this corporate giant unless the community joins with Marrickville Council, Marrickville Councillors & local shop owners in our shopping strips that are saying a loud “NO!” to this development.  We also need to help the people who live in the 11,430 homes within 1km from Marrickville Metro.  They will be the worst affected, but traffic problems tend to spiral outward, especially now that the new IKEA in Tempe is just around the corner and more massive high-rise housing development is planned.

To read past posts about the proposed development – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/marrickville-metro-expansion-the-trees/

https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/marrickville-metro-expansion-public-meeting/

Missing the base guitarist - sorry

9.30am today & the crowd had gathered to hear Federal Labor Grayndler MP & Transport Minister Anthony Albanese speak about the M5 4-lane highway that will now not happen.  About 130 people listened to local residents sing 4 songs about roads that no-one wants.  They were great & it was a terrific start to the meeting.

Bernie Hobbs of ABC TV & local resident was MC. A local Aboriginal elder & Tempe resident opened the meeting & welcomed us to Cadigal Country.  Pat McInerney of community group Tempe 2020 spoke about the campaign’s  history, the strong community support & the overwhelming opposition to the planned highway.  Marrickville Mayor Sam Iskandar spoke saying Marrickville Council had supported the community against this highway from

Left - Marrickville Mayor Sam Iskandar, middle - Federal MP Anthony Albanese, right - Bernie Hobbs, local resident & ABC TV presenter

the beginning.

Then Anthony Albanese MP addressed the crowd saying how it really was a road to nowhere & said something like – the more active the community was in opposing something the more they are likely to achieve their goals.  In essence, if the community comes together in a campaign, politicians listen.  This is important to remember.

Everyone was happy, including the Mayor & the Minister. Clrs Olive & O’Sullivan also attended as did Sam Byrne Greens Candidate for Grayndler & Pip Hinman, Socialist Alliance Candidate for Grayndler.  There may have been other political representatives, but I missed them.

Then people stuffed themselves on hot bbq sausages donated by a Tempe pub.  Thanks to Tempe 2020 & everyone else who sent in submissions, wrote letters & attended Tempe 2020 protest events to stop this highway.  Apart from the obvious horrendous impact this highway would have had on the community, the Wetlands, Tempe Reserve & a lot of mature trees both sides of the Cooks River have been saved. We are all richer for this.

I wrote about this issue & the impact to the environment in February 2010 – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/community-protest-in-tempe/

local resident who wants more than just roads

Last night was the Development Assessment Committee Meeting. Absent: Clr O’Sullivan on leave. The Deputy Mayor of Larnaca, Cyprus was acknowledged as a special guest in the Gallery.  As usual, the following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.

2A-4 West Street Lewisham – 9 two-storey townhouses. A local resident spoke against the DA saying it was more destruction of significant Lewisham history with another substantial house being demolished & local residents were concerned with the amount of new housing in the area. He asked that a comprehensive Dilapidation Report be done on his property. Clr Marcri confirmed that a Dilapidation Report would be prepared. The DA was passed unanimously.

40 Albermale Street Newtown – 2-storey house with a 2-storey garage. This is the 3rd time before Council.  The neighbour is concerned about loss of sun, loss of light, changes to the line of houses & streetscape. He said the house is a gross overdevelopment for the size of the land & of the 8 grounds for refusal, only 6 have been partially addressed. He also said that cracks appear in his walls from month to month due to the small foundations & therefore was worried about deep excavation 1 metre from his house. The speaker for the DA said they had compromised by doing deeper excavation, lowering the roofline, reduced the room above the garage by 9 sq metres & they will cut a hole in the roof to allow sunlight to go into the neighbour’s property.

Clr Tsardoulias supported the DA saying he was not concerned with overshadowing. Clrs Olive & Phillips said that the open space was less than required & thought this DA set a bad precedent for the area.  The DA was lost with Clrs Hanna, Macri, Tsardoulias, Iskandar & Wright voting for it to be passed.  Clr Olive then moved for refusal on Council outlined grounds which was carried with the same Councillors voting against.

174 Denison Road & 36 Piggot Street Dulwich Hill – Subdivide this land

View of the DA site from the high end of Hoskins Park

into 2 lots. A DA for this site was last before Council in May 2010 for twelve 3-storey townhouses. This saw a return of the Save Hoskins Park community group who were united in opposition of the amended DA. 3 residents spoke against the DA saying it was an unsympathetic over-development that would ruin an intact area of 1920s houses, create parking problems, overshadowing & that scant consideration was given to Marrickville Council’s own development requirements & policies.  They said 150 objections were sent to Council with a petition of 800 signatures & their Face Book site had 230 friends demonstrating the community was against this DA. They also said it didn’t make sense to sell off the heritage & streetscape for short-term gain.

Clr Thanos said the development was wrong & would ruin the look & feel of the area.  Clr Tsardoulias supported Clr Thanos & asked Council to look at classifying 134-136 Piggot Street as heritage houses.  Clr Kontelis wanted safeguards to stop development that is “greedy & disrespectful” to protect our cultural heritage.  The DA was refused.  I wrote about this development here – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/3-more-street-trees-up-for-removal-local-news/ & https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/report-from-the-gallery-–-4th-may-2010/

Operating hours of the Annette Kellerman Pool – Opening at 5.30am Mon-Sat. A resident spoke against the extended hours saying they will

Once a tree

set a precedent for increased hours for Marrickville Metro & asked that hours be unchanged & reassessed in 12 months.  Another resident spoke about increased traffic, parking, noise that will impact on residents by affecting their sleep & therefore their health. He asked why did Council think earlier than 8am was not okay for Sundays, but 5am was okay for the rest of the week.

Clrs Thanos, Macri, Iskandar & Wright supported a 5.30am opening. Clr Macri said Council will not be running the pool, therefore they won’t have control over what goes on. (I was shocked to learn that Council will not be operating the pool. 17 plus million of ratepayers’ money to build it, yet the profits go elsewhere?)  He put up an amendment that there be an incentive to the operator to keep noise down by having a 12 month report on noise.  He also said it was important to give residents recourse to come back to Council. Clr Peters was concerned that there was a gym & noise from music could affect neighbours & wanted a 12 month trial. The amendment from Clr Macri was lost with support from Clrs Tsardoulias & Peters.

Cyprus Club – 58-76 Stanmore Road Stanmore – 4 storey, open piazza, 11 room guest accommodation, 25 place child care centre & 46 one bed & 10 two bed units.  The Architect said they had lowered the building by 200mm & reduced the numbers of units by 4. He also said they had consulted with the community.   A resident spoke saying the resubmitted plan made token & cosmetic changes, that they were asked to follow the topography & they haven’t done this & will set a precedent for the area.  He said community consultation was bad, they met with the developer, took the information back to the residents & when they tried to meet with the developer again, he remained unable to be contacted.

There was a long debate with Clrs Byrne, Philips, Peters concerned with height, size, bulk & overshadowing problems & not working with the topography.  Clr Peters was concerned that environmental strategies were  not included in the design & that the size is above Council’s own floorspace standards.  Clr Thanos, Macri, Tsardoulias, Iskandar, Kontellis & Hanna spoke in support of the development.  Issues discussed were the requirement of 2 hours direct sunlight for neighbours, that the roof height was only 8 cm over the requirement, the community has been there a long time, they are setting up independent living for elderly people & it is important to support the Cyprus Club.  Clr Kontellis supported the DA, but said she would like the developer to “consider incorporating her colleagues’ valid points.” The DA was passed with Clrs Olive, Peters, Phillips & Byrne voting against.

525 Illawarra Road Marickville South – 4 storey Residential Aged Care facility for 120 beds & a 2-storey Child Care Centre with off-street parking for 86 vehicles.  This DA will go before the Joint Regional Planning Panel on Thursday 12th August 2010 at Marrickville Town Hall at 5.30pm.  (Also decided at this sitting of the JRPP will be 359 Illawarra Road Marrickville, the old Marrickville RSL site.) The public are welcome to attend & speak before the panel.

This area of land is to be an Residential Aged Care Facility & a Child Care Centre

This Port Jackson Fig in Enmore Park is up for removal

An old Port Jackson Fig (ficus rubiginosa) near the rocket play area in Enmore Park Enmore is up for removal. We went to have a look today. The Fig has a cavity in the trunk where it meets the soil.  It would make a perfect home for a small animal in a forest location.

Marrickville Council employed a consulting Arborist, who performed a Resistograph.  This test uses a ‘smart drill’ to record timber density, which can then be graphed onto a scale model showing how much hard wood is left in the

Port Jackson Fig Enmore Park - circled area is where decay is visible

trunk.  Unfortunately 70% of the base of this particular tree has decayed.  The hollow has also travelled 67% up the stem of the tree.  Both factors make it a high risk of falling, particularly if placed under stress like high winds.

The report does say the tree can be pruned to remove weight, but says the tree would have to be topped with the side branches lopped & kept in this condition.  Therefore, it would never regain a full tree shape again.  Erecting a fence around the tree to protect the public was also an option.  Neither of these actually would improve the look of the tree & amenity of the park, so the advice is to remove the tree.

Marrickville Council intends to replace the tree with an advanced Port Jackson Fig at the same location.

I am pleased Marrickville Council made the Tree Report freely available to the public with the Notice of Removal. The Notice of Removal on the tree had clear information about the reasons for removal.  Unfortunately, they nailed the signs to the tree, which is a bugbear of mine.  Council recently started using tape to secure the notices on the trees, but has returned to old habits.

All in all, the information provided to the community is thorough & I thank Council for this.  At the very least, it helps people like myself understand why this tree needs to be removed.  The Tree Report was also written in a way that was easily understandable & was in itself, a great learning resource.

The period for submissions is only 2 weeks & closes Friday 7th May 2010.   SoT will not be putting in a submission.

Top: Morton Bay Fig with Hills Figs in the background. The photo doesn't show, but all these trees are massive in size & height. Bottom: view of the lone Morton Bay Fig from the Salvation Army Depot Tempe

Update – IKEA Fig trees – I have been on the search for information about the Post Jackson Fig & the 2-3 massive Hills Figs on the grounds of the new IKEA development, Princes Highway Tempe.  As this was a DA, Parks & Gardens did not know what has or is intended for these trees.  They gave me the contact details for an officer in Planning who told me that the only tree which was referred to in the DA requirements was the Morton Bay Fig tree.  This tree is to be relocated outside the staff recreation room.  This explains why the tree is sitting perched up on the original soil with the surrounding areas outside the tree line excavated.

As to what happened to the 2 or 3 massive Hill’s Figs, no one knows.  I would presume they fell victim to the chainsaw, which makes me very sad.  Judging by the amount of birds that roost in the 2 Mackey Park Hills Figs, these trees would have also been the homes for thousands of birds.  Now, they are most likely lost to concrete & bricks & mortar.  I guess it depends on one’s priorities, but I don’t think trees feature highly in development.  Trees get in the way.  It’s as simple as that.

I will try to contact Marrickville Council’s heritage expert to see if I can find out more about these trees.  Marrickville Heritage Society is also concerned about the Morton bay Fig, but was unaware of the presence of the Hills Figs.  Most of us were similarly unaware, because they were hidden behind 2 storey buildings for decades.

Update: Bandicoot habitat Lewisham – The trees that were due to be removed as part of renovations at the St Vincent’s de Paul Head Office in West Street Lewisham are still standing.  I did read in the Inner West Courier about 1 month back that they were working with local WIRES to help keep the Bandicoot habitat.  It’s excellent to see an organisation making an effort in response to the community’s concerns with regards to threatened species.

Marrickville Council approved their DA & they could have legally gone ahead with the destruction of this little group of Bandicoots’ habitat.

Top: bank of large mature trees on this property. Bottom: the same trees visible from the adjoining property

We had a look today & saw other church properties that are filled with large trees.  It made me realise just how important these old established grounds are in built-up urban areas.  Over the years, we have lost so many large trees from front & back gardens, from streets, from properties that have been knocked down & rebuilt & from areas that were once vacant space. While suburban environments have changed, places like the grounds of St Vincent’s de Paul still function as a green oasis in what is becoming predominately bitumen, cement, bricks, glass & steel.

Callan Park in Leichhardt LGA is also a prime example as the grounds are still as they were 50 years ago, except the trees have grown to become magnificent.  To lose these green places will be devastating in more ways that one & not just to the urban wildlife.

Last week residents of Wilga Avenue Dulwich Hill were given a grant of $1,000.   See Report from the Gallery – 20th April 2010.  Photo below.

The largest of the current 6 or 7 verge gardens in Wilga Avenue Dulwich Hill with 2 others visible in the background

Eastwood Plaza-I think this is Wisteria. It is very beautiful & very welcome on a hot day

I’m a bit late with this, but I have just read Marrickville Matters.  I always like this magazine.  They have a nice article about trees on page 5.

For those of you who don’t know, Marrickville Council has launched My Place 2021 & they are asking the community to have a say about the new Community Strategic Plan. The plan covers many areas including environmental & development issues.   It hasn’t closed for comments & I’m not sure when this will happen.  Don’t let this opportunity to have your say regarding how you think Marrickville LGA should be over the next 10 years.  There have been a few comments, but not such that I would call great community involvement.  You can comment anonymously if you like.   I’ve yet to add my 2 cents worth.   http://myplace2021.com.au/

The DA for the old Marrickville RSL site corner of Illawarra Road & Byrne Street is back like the gift from our Auntie that we don’t like.  According to people I have spoken with, this newer version just brims with problems, including 5 areas of non-compliance. Frankly, the community are angry that their concerns have not been taken notice of by the developer & freaked out that it will be approved by the JRPP when it goes before them.

It’s all a matter of personal taste, but having looked at the plans, I think the building is ugly & without doubt, totally out of character for the area.  It’s like the developers don‘t take the community seriously.  “You are going to get modern so live with it!”

It looks like something from Pyrmont & despite this being an issue last time, there is NO minimal GREEN SPACE.

Are the developers thinking that this will be start-up housing before people move onto better accommodation?  If so, then in my mind, they are creating a future ghetto for Marrickville.  The developer says this development fits into Council’s future vision for Marrickville.  This belief is another reason why it is important to leave your opinion on My Space 2021.  Both the Councillors & Council staff need our input when designing our future.

The old Marrickville RSL site is the building in the centre of this photo (many of us will miss the tasteful poster). The building on the left is the only 4 storey building on Illawarra Rd, so at 9 storeys, the new development will be more than double in height

There will be 3 buildings at 6, 7 & 9 storeys meaning it will tower over the neighbourhood & block city views from Schwebel Street.  It will also bounce train noise from 3 rail lines back to Schwebel Street & the housing on the hill.  The people who live here say it is already very noisy, especially during the night.  The goods line is about to commence operating 24 hours a day.

The plans intend 17 studio units (I would have thought this type of housing wouldn’t be allowed anymore), 73 one bedroom units & 90 two bedroom units, a total 180 units.   The previous plans were for 128 units.  The community thought this was too big so they have returned with a plan for 180 units.

It has parking for 171 vehicles so they expect owners will not have cars.  There is 663 sq metres of retail floor space, enough for a supermarket, so I wonder where the shoppers are going to park.

It appears they have removed the RSL from the plan because of concern having shoppers & kids able to see drinking & gambling from the shops & added another 3 metres to the overall size.

There is a petition going around with hundreds of signatures & I urge you to sign it.  Once I know where it will be I will post the locations and date/times.  If you would like a draft submission, you can send me an e-mail & I will send you the draft which was sent to me.

You can download a copy of the DA at Marrickville Council’s website –http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/p190800/eproclaim/index.asp?request_url=ptgeApplications/ptgePublicNoticeAppsList.asp It is 12 down in the list for 359 Illawarra Road Marrickville.  You can also view in hard copy at Council’s Citizens Service Centre during business hours.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday 15th April 2010.

You will need to quote DA201000115, your reasons for objecting & provide your name & address (preferably your email address) & a contact phone number.

I sincerely hope that many people take the trouble to send in a submission.  This development is regarded by many as the test run.  If it gets through, then it signals what is okay for Marrickville LGA & we will get a lot more developments of this kind.  It won’t take long before our Inner West area is changed for the negative with ugly high-rise & masses of traffic congestion.

Everyone I have spoken with acknowledges development & housing is needed.  They just want it to blend into the neighbourhood, be greener in outlook, creative & not create towers & canyons that they feel will ruin the area.  I agree.

While I was writing this I watched the news which was outlining the proposed massive increase in population in NSW.  Isn’t it interesting how this topic has become accepted in our language in just a few months.  Everything else has followed, including the pushing of high-rise throughout Sydney’s suburbs.  From an idea, it’s become a ‘must.’

On 19th March, the following 3 street trees were put up on Marrickville Council’s web-site for removal.

1. Mature Corymbia citriodora (Lemon Scented Gum) outside 11 Union Street Dulwich Hill.  This tree was the first campaign for SoT in June last year.  At that time Council said the problem was ‘whole tree failure’ which I & other members of the community disputed.

showing the recent splits & the 'bleeding' from the nails which were hammered in last June 2009 - using a wide angle lens makes the tree appear taller than it is

The outcome was Council surveyed the tree & intended to monitor to see if the lean increased.  Their report says a lot has happened to this tree since then.

This time they say: Asymmetric root–plate development due to restrictive growth environment. (as does a huge percentage of mature trees in Marrickville LGA due to failure to remove cement from around their trunks), buttressing of the base of the tree over the adjacent kerb.  This predisposes the tree to wind-throw in extreme weather conditions.  There is also a risk of whole tree failure if the kerb collapses. Extensive structural root & crown decay in the plane of compressive stress.  This condition is compounded by the tree exhibiting a moderate lean in the plane of decay.  The decay has been caused by the presence of the naturally occurring fungal decay pathogen Armilaria leuteobubalina.  The tree is exposed to south-easterly winds in the direction of lean & in the plane of decay.  This is compounded by the tree exhibiting an asymmetric canopy, with the majority of the canopy being present in the direction of the lean of the tree (what does Council think of all the masses of asymmetric trees which have been made this way by Energy Australia?)  Severance of structural roots on the windward side of the tree as a result of excavations undertaken by Sydney Water.

I interpret the above as: this tree is likely to fall over if there is an extreme weather event, especially if the wind comes from a south-easterly direction or if the sandstone kerb collapses.  The tree has been placed at risk because Sydney Water severed its structural roots.  Finally, the tree has caught a fungal disease & this sews up the argument for removal.  As this fungus stays in the ground for a while, Council will not replace the tree for 2 years. Council does not say what species the replacement will be.

I went to have a look at this tree & its condition has really changed.  In my opinion it needs to go.  I can’t identify Armilaria leuteobubalina, but I can tell when a tree is deteriorating & this one is.  It has recently developed 2 large vertical splits in its trunk that regardless of the other things afflicting this tree, indicate its demise.

Its loss is going to have a dramatic affect on the streetscape as it cascades beautifully over Union Street & is clearly visible from the café on the corner.  The deadline for submissions is 2nd April 2010.

2. The second street tree is a Eucalyptus scoparia (Wallangarra White Gum) outside 70 Railway Street Petersham.  Council’s report says:  Extensive stem decay & is at risk of

showing the decay & damage by borers

breakage. No disagreement from me with this tree.  It looks like it has or had borers & they entered via a newly cut branch.

I am pleased to note that Council says they will replace it with a Lemon Scented Gum.  I do know a number of Petersham residents who are worried that Council will remove their Gums.  (I just realised how this reads like & will leave it for a bit of fun).  Put in a way that does not sound like dental work, residents fear that Council will remove the Eucalypts, so replacement with a tall growing Eucalypt will please many.  The deadline for submissions is 9th April 2010.

3.  The third tree required a certain amount of sleuthing on my part to locate because I failed to notice the word ‘adjacent.’  This is another Eucalyptus scoparia (Wallangarra

massive damage to this tree as well as termites

White Gum).  It sits in a lovely little space between 2 types of stairs (ordinary/normal stairs & thrill-seeker/kill off your granny stairs – see photo in this post) that connect Day Street with Hampden Avenue.  There are a number of mature trees in this little triangle of dirt.

Council’s report says: Extensive column decay in trunk. Termite activity evident. Again, both these were easy to see.  I also think the people who live in the house directly next to & below this particular tree may breath a sigh of relief when it goes.  They may have held their breath through a few storms, worried that it would crash on their house.  I know I would have.  Council will replace this tree with a Eucalyptus microcorys (Tallow Wood), which will be nice.  The deadline for submissions is 9th April 2010.

I was enormously pleased to see that Marrickville Council had used wide sticky tape to fasten the ‘notice of removal’ signs on all 3 trees.  Thank you for doing this.  This is a big

The ramp on the right is very steep - I assume it was used when the quarry across the road was active

change from previous practice of nailing in the signs & seems more effective because all 6 signs are still in place.

I was also very pleased to note the more detailed information provided with the ‘notification for removal.’  Although I recognise this takes more time for Council staff, it helps them in the long run because the community does not have to guess why the trees are up for removal.  All 3 notifications & especially the one in Union Street gave clear & descriptive reasons.  Coupled with the use of tape instead of nails, this is a great improvement & goes to generating goodwill.

Apparently the period for submissions for public trees is 14 days, not 21 as we have experienced throughout the latter half of 2009.  Council says they allow 21 days for submissions if the tree is significant in some way.  14 days doesn’t allow much time, but if we are organised, it can be done.  It also means that I cannot be slow in noticing new trees for removal on their web-site.

I am not going to put in a submission for any of the current trees as I believe they all should be removed.

Archives

Categories

© Copyright

Using and copying text and photographs is not permitted without my permission.

Blog Stats

  • 617,900 hits
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: