|WILLAGEE residents have bemoaned the “disheartening” loss of trees in the name of progress at the former Carawatha Primary School site.
After the City of Melville agreed on the subdivision of two thirds of the former primary school site in December 2018 with Satterley, the trees came down in recent weeks.
The subdivision proposes 39 freehold lots ranging from 168sq m to 322sq m, which are intended for single dwellings, three larger freehold lots intended for apartment-style development, one freehold lot with the use to be determined by the City, the existing Carawatha Park, which is to be dedicated as a public reserve, six pocket parks and a road network.
Among the community members to email or call the Melville Gazette about the fallen trees was Amanda Noonyen, who said she was “utterly disappointed and outraged” by the removal of the trees.
“I venture to the Carawatha Park with my children and these trees which were removed on the boundary of the park always provided much needed shade in summer for the children and not to mention homes for the wildlife and one being the endangered black cockatoos who used to roost and forage daily in these trees,” she said.
Satterley spokeswoman Ashleigh D’Alessandro said a “good deal of care” had been taken to ensure significant trees had been preserved within the design of the site where possible and the property developer engaged a professional arborist to determine which trees could be retained.
“A number of existing trees were not deemed suitable for retention in built-up areas due to their structural form and associated branch fall risks, to both people and structures, as well as for their potential to cope with changes to the soil and surrounding environment,” she said.
“A great deal of effort has also gone into repurposing trees that cannot remain on the site. Forty-nine grass trees were successfully removed for replanting at locations across the City and a number of professional and community-based organisations will reuse and repurpose timber for benefits such as public art, outdoor furniture and nature play equipment.”
The council acquired the site on the corner of North Lake Road and Archibald Street from the Department of Education in 2006 with the intention for 1.3ha to be developed as public open space while the remaining 2.6ha was set aside for future development.
In May 2017, the council directed the City to proceed with drafting and execution an agreement with Satterley Property Group.