Preserve Unley's Heritage - Stop Destroying Our Living History
The changing shape of the City of Unley is a major point of discussion amongst residents of Unley with the planned Unley Central development.
While development is an important part of society, so is the need to also preserve our heritage whether it be bricks and mortar or living heritage - our parks, gardens and treescapes. In particular, “significant trees” - trees that have been part of the community for far longer than we have and are in their own right an important community asset.
The South Australian Government has laws to protect these trees, and the City Of Unley administers these laws.
Despite this system of protection, over the last 5 months, we understand that the Council has received 33 applications to remove significant or regulated trees. Council has approved 20 to be destroyed, 7 are under assessment and 6 are waiting for further information.
The Council's Development Assessment Panel (DAP) relies heavily on an arborist report commissioned by each applicant on the health of the each tree proposed for removal and its impact on the public. We understand that, in many cases, these reports contradict the Council's internal assessment of the trees. In addition there are no restrictions on the number of applications an applicant can make - but public consultation is only allowed on the first application for development.
We the petitioners request that the City Of Unley:
- STOP the destruction of all regulated and significant trees until a full REVIEW is undertaken into DAP's procedures when considering an application to destroy trees.
- As part of that review, EXAMINE the authenticity of applicant commissioned arborist reports and DEFINE a standard template for arborist reports which meet an accredited national standard.
- Lobby State Government to establish BENCH MARK CREDENTIALS for all arborists who are advising applicants on regulated or significant trees.
- Once a tree has been assessed as being regulated or significant, and poses no risk to the public, place a MORATORIUM of 5 years on any further application for its removal, after which public consultation is again required.
- REQUIRE that ALL applications for development which involve the removal of a significant or regulated tree involve public consultation.
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