Homeowner fears council will cut trees

By Lawrence Gullery

A home owner is worried she will be forced to cut down three large trees on her property if they are deemed to be a nuisance by the Hastings District Council-led residential development backing on to Cornwall Park.

Christine and Alan Ingle say they have written to the council complaining about its pending housing project at 511 Fitzroy Ave, formerly the site of the council's nursery operation.

Mrs Ingle said it appeared the council and its properties company were pushing for resource consent for roads and dwellings without informing the community or neighbours.

"Only by making my own inquiries to council have I been informed that there are proposals for 11 house sites ... with section sizes ranging from 350-500sq m. As an immediate neighbour of this site, I have concerns for three large trees on my property close to the proposed subdivision."

While the trees were on the southern side of the subdivision, and may not pose a shading problem, she said the new owners could "take aversion" to how close they were.

"If the council gives resource consent for building of houses close to these trees, I feel sure it will bring about the demise of the trees," Mrs Ingle said.

She noted the council had removed one large London plane tree from Cornwall Park in 2012 in preparation of the subdivision.

"The reasons given were that the roots would be irreparably damaged by the proposed works. It seems likely, therefore, that our trees would be subject to the same [damage]," she said.

Mrs Ingle was also worried the new houses would "not be in keeping" with the quality and historic old homes in the area.

"My concerns are now that an intense subdivision of 11 additional houses will detract severely from the proud, original homes. The public is not being given the chance to view or have input into the development of the sites for the long-term good of the area."

The council said the developers planned to upgrade (mainly internal) a homestead inside the former nursery grounds, which was built by Harold George Davis, one of the architects who led the rebuilding in Hawke's Bay following the 1931 earthquake.

The development was being planned by Hastings District Properties Ltd and it was likely to hand in a resource consent application next week.

"Council officers have discussed many issues with the complainant and it has been explained that a decision on whether the resource consent will be publicly notified will be made following a preliminary assessment of the application by council planning officers," a council representative said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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