A TRIGG heritage beach house owner is concerned about the removal of established vegetation to extend a car park, which borders her property.
Margaret Carmody said the house had been in her family for 54 years and the removal of the trees and shrubs could destabilise the land.
“The very fragile steep slope of the sand dune next to the house is now bare and subject to wind erosion with the recent removal of mature trees,” she said.
“There are no living roots left, nothing holding up the six metre hill except a piece of asbestos sheeting near the top of the slope on the adjoining government property and the hill is slumping.
“I’m disappointed in the removal, the trees were planted decades ago and it will add to the urban heat issue.”
In a report from May last year, City of Stirling officers stated that Trigg Beach precinct car parks were used on average 40 per cent of the time yet the decision to extend the car park was approved by council.
However, infrastructure director Michael Littleton said the 40 per cent was averaged over 15 dates and across all Trigg Beach car park areas.
“The City and local ward councillors had received ongoing comments and complaints regarding the shortage of available parking within the Trigg Beach vicinity, particularly during the peak periods of operation in summer.”
Mr Littleton said the removal of trees was “regrettable” but necessary.
“It was necessary to be able to reconfigure the layout and alignment of aisles and parking bays in order to maximise the number of parking bays available.”
The project cost the City $690,000 in total with the removal of trees at about $3000.
Mr Littleton said the City sent a letter of advice to all surrounding residents two weeks before work started.
“The City undertook specific consultation in November 2014 with the most affected resident, who lives in the property next door to the proposed works,” he said.
Ms Carmody said established trees that had occupied the area were gone when she arrived home from overseas.
“The 45 year old grevillea bushes which were a haven for honey eaters had gone as well as mature trees adjacent to the heritage hill which is vital for the stability of the property,” she said.
“The root structure of young plants cannot be compared with the root structure of mature trees which have grown and collected sand over the decades.”
Mr Littleton said the City planned to revegetate the area, which would result in a net increase in the number of trees with 50 trees reserved for planting.