‘Rampant’ tree removal leading to ‘ecological disaster’ in Sydney’s northwest

THE rampant ecological disaster gathered pace from 2011 with the NSW LNP Planning Law changes … for higher density … Sydney is growing was the subliminal greedy deve-loper message …

SO much for the “buck passing”, blame game …

RYDE COUNCIL around that time was controlled by a casting vote Liberal Mayor pushing for ever more development across the LGA.

The Ivanhoe Public Housing Estate is undergoing demolition as the NSW Government continues to search for replacement housing for tenants for this site to be replaced by almost 2,000 private dwellings, 950 social housing dwellings and 128 affordable homes.

Meanwhile there are 190,000 people on a Waiting List for Public Housing across Australia.  Despite this during the terms of the NSW LNP much of the Public Housing stock has been sold off! (2011 – 2019)

The HORNSBY SHIRE was subject to the ETTT and more than 30,000 trees chopped to make way for a third rail track … from recollection!

AND since then the North-West has been annihilated by tree clearing for high-rise precincts, medium-rise apartment blocks, terraces, townhouses, triplex, duplex and villas … view CAAN Photo Albums to view the impact of their bulk with the loss of amenity for their neighbours!

HOW can saplings replace the shade and beauty of 30, 50, 100 year old indigenous gum trees?

 

Mature trees being cut down near the Epping town centre last week.
Mature trees being cut down near the Epping town centre last week.

‘Rampant’ tree removal leading to ‘ecological disaster’ in Sydney’s northwest

 

16 January 2019

 

Sydney’s northwest is facing an “ecological disaster” as a chainsaw massacre of thousands of trees in leafy suburbs make way for new developments and send urban heat soaring.

 

Preliminary works on major developments in Macquarie Park and Epping are cutting down hundreds of trees as a war of words breaks out over who is to blame for the “environmental atrocity” turning suburbs into concrete jungles.

As the northwest bakes in searing heat this week, photos taken at various sites near Epping town centre in recent days show how mature trees are being carted off in trucks, leaving barren landscapes in preparation for developments such as the $500 million Cbus three-towers project on Langston Place.

A mature tree cut down on Chambers Court, Epping, last week, leaving a big slab of concrete.

 

At Macquarie Park, there will be 858 trees removed as part of the Ivanhoe Estate development, where 3500 new dwellings are being built on the corner of Herring and Epping roads.

Ryde Labor Mayor Jerome Laxale said he was stumped about how the “rampant” tree removal was allowed to occur instead of existing natives being included in new developments.

“Any ecologist worth their salt will tell you that you can’t compare a sapling to a 50-year-old tree,” said Cr Laxale, who will challenge Ryde Liberal MP Victor Dominello at the NSW election in March.

“All the sites where they are demolishing trees look like a war zone. It’s shocking and unacceptable to our community.

“The removal of trees at the Ivanhoe site is unprecedented for any one site in Ryde. If these plans are allowed to continue, it will be an ecological disaster.”

Hundreds of trees are being removed to make way for the Ivanhoe estate at Macquarie Park.

 

Mr Dominello hit back, saying: “The Ivanhoe development will not only result in more trees being planted and more open space than currently exists, it will also deliver affordable housing for local families and the elderly.

“Of the 7500 new dwellings built in Ryde since 2007, 73 per cent were approved by Ryde Council, and 24 per cent by the former Labor Government under the Part 3A regime.

“If the Mayor is serious about protecting trees he should mandate it as part of council’s planning approvals,” the Finance Minister said.

New data shows big developers and mum-and-dad investors are peppering Ryde and Parramatta councils with development applications to remove trees.

In 2018, Parramatta Council received 665 applications for tree removal and pruning, while Ryde had 422 requests for the legal removal or pruning of 666 trees.

In November alone, Parramatta had 37 applications for tree removal and 25 DAs were approved to chop down trees.

A big tree is cut down on Chambers Court, Epping, last week.

 

Parramatta Labor councillor Donna Davis is barking mad about the “loss of character” in suburbs like Epping.

“The State Government talks about tackling urban heat and striving for a greener city, but the reality is the legislation they passed in relation to trees has made it easier for trees to be removed through a push for increased development,” Cr Davis said.

“It frustrates the hell out of me. And we as a council need to look at our own regulations and look at what we can change to clamp down on all the tree removal.

“Both council and the State Government are not acting fast enough to prevent this environmental atrocity.”

However, Epping State Liberal MP Damien Tudehope said Cr Davis was “misplaced” in her attack on the Berejiklian Government.

“The conditions for development are imposed by councils,” he said. “Councils should be requiring an appropriate landscape plan for sites post-development.

A truck takes away a massive tree trunk in Epping last week.

 

“Whatever context a development is approved, it should be against a backdrop where there is a council report on tree use at the site.

“And at the sites you referred to in Epping, I’d suggest council has already approved for the removal of these trees. So it’s a bit rich for councillors to come back and say it’s the State Government’s fault for allowing the removal of trees.”

Parramatta Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson blamed the massive tree loss in the northwest on successive state governments dating back to the 1990s when Bob Carr was Premier.

“Bob Carr was a cheerleader for urban consolidation,” Cr Wilson said. “And when you are putting more people into a limited area, the environment is going to suffer.”

‘BLACK MARK ON GREEN LOSS’

For Janet McGarry, the loss of trees at the Cbus development site near Epping train station is “just the tip of the iceberg” as the suburb “loses its very green essence”.

The public domain in the $500m Langston development.

 

The Epping Civic Trust president said last week’s widespread removal of trees around the town centre was “another nail in an ongoing saga”.

“It is the cumulative total of trees that have been lost that is the problem. It’s not a case of having one worst site for it,” Ms McGarry said.

“The trees always go in developments around the town centre. There’s no effort made to work around the existing trees, many of which are mature indigenous gum trees.

And replanting is not the same as old growth.

“The planning laws must be reviewed urgently to change this environmental disgrace.”

A Cbus spokesman said it had development consent to clear trees to allow for the construction of The Langston’s 19, 24 and 29-storey towers project.

An artist impression of Cbus Property’s mixed-use development on Langston Place, Epping.

 

“This site clearing necessitated removal of the existing vegetation on site, including five trees along the western side of Chambers Court,” the spokesman said.

“However, it is worth noting that The Langston development proposes the renewal and improvement of existing tree plantings, and associated landscaping elements, including the section along Chambers Court.

“Ultimately, this will result in replacement of the existing trees on the western side of Chambers Court with eight new mature London Plane trees.”

But State Labor candidate for Epping Alan Mascarenhas said the loss of any existing trees was an “atrocity against the historic character of Epping”.

“For me, it’s a simple equation,” he said. “Overdevelopment heats up our suburbs, trees cool them down.

“I don’t want Epping going the way of the Parramatta CBD where developers have run riot and the place is basically a tinderbox in summer.”

SOURCE: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/northern-district-times/rampant-tree-removal-leading-to-ecological-disaster-in-sydneys-northwest/news-story/ae40c92d146ffde7b649445e1a6ea44f?fbclid=IwAR2s22OMou4a-usCKWIkCSi_LUPg0N0HktJkOJYj-U8wVSAOEMlN7zgblzU&memtype=anonymous