Trees’ fate in redevelopment worries local people

Gemma Hohnen, Kai Wuthenow, Jules Colson, Ross Porter, Tam
Gemma Hohnen, Kai Wuthenow, Jules Colson, Ross Porter, Tam

Jemma Wuthenow is one of a number of local people keen to take up the fight against the cuts because she is concerned about the constant chipping away of the green spaces that provide shade, habitat for local animals, clean air and a balance against the encroachment of concrete and bitumen.

She said residents wanted more of the established trees retained.

‘The land is the prime land of the Coolbellup hill site opposite the shopping centre. We need to ensure that responsible, sensible use of such land is etched in stone before it is too late,’ she said.

‘We are aware of the validity behind sustainability and urban infill, but question whether extensive clearing is conducive to sustainability overall.’

Lend Lease communications manager Bridget Tombleson said the company was committed to retaining significant trees where possible, as exemplified by its preservation of trees at The Primary development, although she did hint that significant cuts would be made.

‘Of the 186 trees identified in the tree survey by a specialist, 68 have been found to be structurally unsound or of poor health. We will not know how many trees will be required to be removed from site until the final engineering design is finalised and site levels fixed ” expected early 2014,’ she said.

Cockburn’s planning and development director Daniel Arndt said the site was at the earthworks approval stage. This covers an area of about 31 trees, 25 of which have been approved for removal. Two coral trees are being relocated, while four trees are being retained.

Construction of the area is to begin in mid 2014 and will take about 12 months.