Questions and Responses
I'm doing a story on a couple of proposed developments in Gwynne St, Mt Waverley, and have a few questions of council.
What applications have gone through council for numbers 8 and 10 Gwynne St, Mt Waverley, and what were their results?
8 Gwynne Street: Construction of 3 dwellings – lodged October 2018 – currently being considered
10 Gwynne Street: Construction of 3 dwellings - permit issued 28 July 2017. This includes 6 trees to be removed, but these were all under 10m height so no planning permission required under Monash’s Vegetation Protection Overlay.
Have there been any applications regarding the removal of trees, significant or otherwise, on this property? And how many trees, significant or otherwise, have been removed from these properties?
8 Gwynne Street – removal of 5 trees (permit issued 4 Dec 2017) as these trees had various issues as detailed by an arborist. This approval included a requirement for a replacement of at least four (4) canopy trees as a condition.
I have spoken to local residents concerned about the gradual losing of significant, old, big trees from the area as developers look to come into the area - what is council's stance on this?
The community is genuinely concerned about the removal of vegetation across Monash and so are we. One of the main complaints we receive at Council is about loss of vegetation on land when it is developed, especially the “moonscaping” of blocks for single houses where all vegetation is cleared prior to development. We do have parts of Monash covered by a Vegetation Protection Overlay whereby trees of more than 10m are protected. Our Urban Landscape and Canopy Vegetation Strategyand Monash Planning Scheme guides us on striking the right balance between development and planted areas, including the guidance on the right tree in the right place. While we welcome the growth of Monash, we need to ensure this doesn’t come at the cost of our much loved greenery.
Does council have statistics regarding green coverage in the area and how it has changed over the years?
The Urban Landscape and Canopy Vegetation Strategyis Council’s policy framework for landscaping and vegetation in Monash, particularly for new development.
The strategy sets out a clear framework for the future on how Council will plan for open spaces to meet existing and future needs and how to increase tree canopy coverage, especially as the population of Monash continues to grow.
Monash's tree canopy is currently at 22%, which has declined over the years and the strategy aims for a target of 30% canopy vegetation cover by 2030.
Council was made aware in June 2018 that two significant trees (not previously approved) had been removed from the land at 8 Gwynne Street. As a result of an investigation conducted by Council’s planning investigations unit two Planning Infringement Notices, totalling $3172 were issued. Council also required the planting of two additional trees as a result. This means that there were to be 6 new trees planted in place of the ones that have been removed. All replacement trees were planted and inspected by Council Officers in August 2018.
Council is disappointed that trees are removed without the correct permissions which provide Council the opportunity to consider the suitability of the tree and the contribution it makes to the neighbourhood. Once trees are removed illegally, Council must consider the appropriate course of action and the requirement for replacement trees as we have done in this instance.
Issued: 18 January 2019
To: Monash Leader
Quoting: Mayor, Councillor Shane McCluskey