10 September 2011

Significant trees and the Development Assessment Panel

Some observations from the DAP Agenda this week.

A significant tree ( >21/2 metres in girth at 1 metre above ground level) can be removed if a resident applies to have it removed from their property and they can prove that either the tree poses significant risk to persons or to property. The dilemma too often faced by the DAP is that people apply to build or extend on their property with every intention of being able to save the significant tree on their property. However, at some time during the building process the tree either shows rapid decline or it is found to be inconvenient to the concept. If the application was put in at the same time as planning consent was sought it would almost certainly have been refused. At the stage they are put in the applicant clearly thinks that the chance is much greater of gaining consent. The link is to a development applicant in Malvern. In this month's Agenda there are applications to remove 9 significant trees, most are recommended for approval for very valid reasons although some are recommended for refusal. At this rate the City would loose over 100 of these trees every year. It is Council's responsibility to find ways to replace these, either by encouraging homeowners to replace trees removed or to find places they can plant them on Council land.


  1. M Jacobs of Hyde Park10 September, 2011 17:00

    Thank you Councillor Boisvert for your concern and your blog about significant trees. As a resident concerned about the damage to two significant trees and their subsequent removal, I can only ask that all councillors make a concerted effort and be proactive in the replacement of tree stock in their areas. Pocket Parks and existing open space areas would be a very good start.

  2. It seems to me that there needs to be a wider publication of development applications (especially regarding significant trees) other than just to nearby residents as well as greater transparency in reports and processes. The removal of trees affects everyone and the environment. Next we will see trees nominated for removal that cast shade and interfere with solar collection. What a selfish attitude to buy into established areas with established trees and then start to remove them (many not significant). There needs to be much greater accountability and follow up on these development applications.

  3. Denise of Goodwood11 September, 2011 11:00

    Hullo Cr Jennie,
    I was recently speaking to someone who bought a house and then removed most of the trees (many of them bottlebrush and Jacarandas) as they wanted grass and open space. Thankfully they do not live in the Unley area. So much for their carbon footprint.
    Keep up the good work!
    I look forward to reading your newsletter.