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Tree Removal Will Enhance Popular Sportsground

Tree Removal Will Enhance Popular Sportsground

Dunedin (Friday, 12 September 2014) – The removal of 12 trees on Logan Park Drive will greatly improve the facilities at Dunedin’s premier sports hub.

Dunedin City Council Parks Manager Lisa Wheeler says the sportsfield directly in front of the 12 Ontario poplars is undersized in length by 10m because of a lack of space.

“This is the city’s highest use sporting facility and once these trees are removed the field can then be repositioned and resized.”

Removal of the trees will also address shading problems for afternoon fixtures at the highly regarded University Oval. This longstanding issue has been raised by Otago Cricket through Annual Plan submissions.

There was considerable discussion and consultation before the decision was made in September 2005 to remove the trees.

The Logan Park development planning process from 2004/05, and the public consultation which was part of this process, identified a number of issues and concerns associated with the age and stability of the poplar trees at Logan Park.

“This was the main reason for the working party commissioning the 2007 Logan Park Tree Management Plan, which was fully consulted on with stakeholders and approved by the working party as an operational implementation plan,” Ms Wheeler says.

The 12 poplar trees on Logan Park Drive north of the University Oval gates being removed were identified in the Plan. The Plan recommended in the short term (one to three years) removing these trees and the gum tree in front of the tennis centre. The poplars were then scheduled to be removed in 2009/10, subject to funding. Ms Wheeler says removal of the trees has been scheduled for some years, but was dependent on funding being available.

The gum tree was removed last year and projects have been reprioritised to make funding available now for the poplars to come down. Removing the trees now will ensure shading issues are resolved before Cricket World Cup matches are played at the Oval in February.

Ms Wheeler says the alternative of pruning these mature trees to alleviate shading issues was considered, but it would not be a satisfactory solution. Too many branches would have to be pruned to allow more light through.

The poplars in question are not listed in the District Plan as significant trees. In this area, resource consent is not needed to remove a line of trees which can be described as a shelter belt.

Removal of the trees will begin on Monday and is expected to take about a week.

ENDS

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