Karrinyup resident labels centre trees removal “greedy barbarianism”

Trees cut down along Davenport Street. Photo: Martin Kennealey. d488858
Trees along Davenport Street before construction. Photo: Leisha Jack
Photo of trees along Francis Avenue before construction started. Photo: Leisha Jack
Trees removed along Francis Avenue. Photo: Martin Kennealey. d488858
Trees cut down along Davenport Street. Photo: Martin Kennealey. d488858 Trees along Davenport Street before construction. Photo: Leisha Jack Photo of trees along Francis Avenue before construction started. Photo: Leisha Jack Trees removed along Francis Avenue. Photo: Martin Kennealey. d488858

AN environmental advocate says removal of at least 50 trees to make way for the Karrinyup Shopping Centre redevelopment is “greedy barbarianism”.

Stirling Urban Tree Network convenor and Karrinyup resident Leisha Jack was among locals upset to discover trees lining Davenport Street cut down last week, as well as on Francis Avenue, included large mature trees.

“In other parts of the world, efforts are being made to build around existing trees,” she said.

“But it is cheaper and quicker to cut them down, even though the result would be so much nicer if they retained them.”

Developer AMP Capital is building a seven-storey apartment and commercial building at the corner of Davenport and Francis streets, as part of its $800 million revamp of the centre. Ms Jack said planning authorities should be demanding setbacks and requiring developers to retain shade trees along property boundaries.

Resident Rebecca James said she was not opposed to the development but found it “distressing” the trees were removed.

“I think progress should meet with history,” she said. “So much of the appeal of Karrinyup is the natural vegetation; I think it’s really important to consider the costs and impact.”

AMP Capital would not confirm how many trees were being removed as part of the redevelopment, but WA divisional development manager Scott Nugent said green space would form part of the upgraded centre.

“While every effort was made to retain mature trees, unfortunately the design of the development couldn’t accommodate them in this instance due to the increased footprint of the centre,” he said.

“However, the new Karrinyup Shopping Centre will incorporate substantial green landscaping and mature trees, which will offer more green spaces for people to enjoy.”

Mr Nugent said the number of trees to be planted would be determined closer to completion and the company was working with a local primary school to provide tree trunks for use in a nature playground.

The City of Stirling has been working on policies aimed at increasing its tree canopy and under its local planning policy, developments valued at more than $100,000 are required to plant one new ‘advanced tree’ – at least 2m high – for every 500sq m of land being developed.

Planning and development director Ross Povey said demolition works were consistent with approval granted by the Metro North-West Development Assessment Panel, which included landscaping and streetscape upgrades, but did not comment on whether it was consistent with the City’s strategies.