On 15 June 2017, Council received correspondence from Transport for NSW regarding proposed Clash Removal Works that will involve the removal of 34 kerbside trees within the North Sydney Council area and the trimming and lopping of an additional 21 trees. These works have been proposed because they may interfere with the new double-decker buses that will be delivered in the Northern Beaches B-Line program.
Council was asked to comment on the Arboricultural Impact Assessment Report for these proposed works (also referred to as “Package C1”) by 7 July. Our submission strongly objects to this large-scale tree removing action.
Council understands that these works will commence between July and September 2017. Some of the issues raised in our submission are:
- the consultation period did not provide sufficient time to engage with Council and the community or provide enough time to investigate alternative tree management options.
- the trees identified are located within St Leonards Park along Falcon Street as an “alternative route” for the proposed B-Line, however, Council has not received any information about this alternative route (we have asked Transport for NSW to provide details).
- ·one of the trees identified in the clash removal work is of high heritage significance within St Leonards Park and any proposals that affect the park are subject to approval by the Heritage Council and no details of Heritage Council approval were provided.
- the street trees along transport corridors ameliorate the environmental and amenity impacts of traffic; the estimated value of the street trees affected by the works is more than $1.4 million (figure based on urban forest modelling software).
The deadline for the Arboricultural Impact Assessment Report was given and responded to on short notice – the proposal will still be reported to the 24 July Council meeting and Council may resolve to provide additional comments in relation to this matter.
An assessment of the proposed clash removal works against the objectives of Council’s Tree management policies, LEP and DCP are detailed in Council's submission (1013KB).
A copy of the Arboricultural Impact Assessment Report (20MB) can be viewed here.
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