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Rosebank Pohutukawa Saved – Tree Council Vindicated!

Rosebank Pohutukawa Saved – Tree Council Vindicated!

The Tree Council is very relieved that independent commissioners today totally rejected an application to fell the well known, landmark Pohutukawa, at 321 Rosebank Road, Avondale. The application was considered at a day long hearing on November 12th, 2010.

“The Commissioners’ reasons for rejecting the application completely agree with ours, and vindicates the time, effort and money that has gone into protecting this tree,” says Sigrid Shayer, The Tree Council’s Chairwoman. “The struggle to retain this Pohutukawa symbolises the struggle between a Dickensian industrialist’s approach to money making, and an approach to development which recognises the broader value of retaining natural beauty and heritage. This long drawn out struggle is an indictment of our flawed planning system. Development is not just about covering all land with buildings, even in industrial zones, and particularly where it is adjacent to residential communities, as in this case. Development needs to integrate existing valuable amenity and overall enhance the working and residential environment.”

The Tree Council took High Court action in March to stop the felling of this Pohutukawa after other commissioners had granted the developer (non-notified) consent to fell the tree. However, the Pohutukawa’s fate was still at the mercy of the developer making a further application to fell. The subsequent legal agreement ensured that if that happened, The Tree Council, at the very least, would be notified under the RMA.

“Now that this has finally been decided, The Tree Council looks forward to Auckland Council speedily completing the process of scheduling both the Pohutukawa and its complementary neighbour, an Oak, which, as a pair, were assessed as having iconic status by Auckland City,” says Sigrid Shayer.

“We also hope that both the developer, John McKearney, and Auckland Council, can now recognise the value of ensuring that this iconic pair of trees remain visible to the public and not be surrounded by buildings. The Commissioners themselves considered that the Lot on which these trees stand should have been set aside as a public reserve in the first place, as the Lot is part of a wider 25 acre development site. The Pohutukawa is just coming into flower, and the value of retaining its juxtaposition with the Oak and within sight of the wider community will be even more apparent to all.”


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