Council Says Yes, Council Says No…
Last night Diane Chester attended the council meeting, and during general business Des Hudson brought Council’s attention to emails he had received during the week regarding the destruction of the trees on Stockade Street. Eric Brasilis, Director of Growth and Development, confirmed that the trees were protected under the conditions of the planning permit and the developer did not have permission to remove the them.
Then he went on to say the trees were assessed by the City Council arborist after felling, while they were laying on the ground, and they were deemed to be unhealthy and unsafe.
What? The developer DIDN’T have a permit, but it okay, free pass, no consequences? Can you hear the sounds of back tracking?
The community demands answers from our council about:
- the inadequacy of the planning process
- the consequences for the developer (either way he DID NOT have a permit)
- the inconsistency in approach between planning and environment
It concern us greatly that the assessment was conducted by the same authority that would incur the cost and effort of prosecuting the offence, after the offence had occurred.
Mr Brasilis assured Cr Hudson that council was working with the developer to ensure some offset be provided. The residents of Ballarat East will be following this issue closely. It is unfortunate that the trees were not assessed at the time they were protected in 2010, a mere two years ago in the life of a century old tree. I’m sure the development could have been designed at the time to provide enough space to protect the healthy tree and perhaps enhance the area as the planning scheme so frequently suggests.
As the situation stands, this development takes from this community and gives nothing back. How many developments of this kind can Ballarat East accommodate? No more we say…
Further news in the local paper here…