Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Algies Bay tree plan too broad, says panel

Algies Bay. Photo / planmyplay.co.nz
Algies Bay. Photo / planmyplay.co.nz

A proposal to protect a group of native trees on 46 coastal properties has been rejected by commissioners deciding Rodney's list of notable trees for Auckland Council.

The council relies on district plan scheduling to protect trees since the Resource Management Act revoked blanket protection in January.

On the council's bid to add more than 300 individual and groups of trees to the protected list, commissioners Barry Kaye, John Childs and John Duder said there was inadequate justification for such a wide- ranging scheduling in Willjames Ave, Algies Bay, east of Warkworth.

The panel said the council needed to be more specific about the type and size of the trees to be added while allowing for a reasonable level of development. It could do this through the proposed unitary plan which will replace all district plans.

The panel heard from land owners who asked for the group listing to be removed, saying they were not all worthy of protection and had not been individually evaluated.

The proposed listing brought site specific rules and would interfere with rights to manage the properties and undermine values. One speaker said his mother's land could not be built on as it was covered in bush.

The panel heard 55 submissions, some for and against, and visited trees and opposed groups.

Some of the proposed listings were found not to be appropriate. However, some visits revealed a number of other trees which may be deserving of special protection.

The panel allowed the objection of a Whangaparaoa Peninsula resident to protecting a 50m high Norfolk pine, which he said could fall on two homes.

It also allowed some objections on grounds that trees inhibited reasonable use of property, were too close to a house or did not have much merit.

However, the panel rejected the plea of the police not to protect a totara tree at the Warkworth police station, which it said had high amenity value. Whether it impeded development could be addressed when that was proposed.

- NZ Herald

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