30 May 2020

The Advertiser analyses Development Applications for tree removal

Keeping Unley leafy for future generationsThe paper reviewed 581 applications asking for tree removal in 2018/19. Of these only 31 were refused the other 550 were approved. Legislation states that trees are regulated if their girth is 2 metres and significant if it is 3 metres or more. Anyone wishing to remove or prune such a tree must apply for removal. One third of the applications were for significant trees. Unley had the second highest refusal rate with 5 refusals but still allowed nearly 80% of applications to be successful. Many of these do not come to the Council Assessment Panel for approval.

Recommendations for change include:

  • Changing planning laws to encourage retention
  • Redefining what the terms mean and at what point they kick in. As an example significance used to be reached at 2.5 m
  • Requiring replacement of trees removed on the same site
  • Ensuring all new developments have at least one tree planted before handover. And that this tree be maintained
  • Incentives to retain  trees
  • Valuing trees at their real value and insisting that this value is paid to Council when approval is given.
  • Unley has just completed its new Tree Strategy, it worth a read.   https://www.unley.sa.gov.au/files/assets/public/council/about-the-council/city-of-unley-tree-strategy-2020.pdf 

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