Baysy tree police?

DEVELOPERS building in Bayswater will need to retain and plant new trees under a proposed council plan to control greenery on private property.

The new policy comes amid fears that left to our own devices we’ll leave Perth a barren Nullarbor.

Bayswater’s aiming to hit a tree canopy coverage of 20 per cent by 2025, but council staff warn that’ll be hard to achieve.

The goal “is significantly compromised by the loss of trees on private property…without intervention, landowners and developers are unlikely to retain or plant trees on private land of their own accord,” they say in a report.

Research by nearby councils supports that conclusion: Stirling estimates that if it doesn’t intervene to stop developers clearing trees, its tree canopy will be a piddling 12.4 per cent by 2030, because 60 per cent of trees being lost are on private residential land.

• The number of trees lost during developments on private land in Bayswater (see example above), has prompted the council to propose a new tree policy for developers.

The new rules will mean developers have to provide one decent-sized tree per 350sqm on a typical R25-zoned piece of land, wich roughly equates to one tree per dwelling. Builders will also have to leave a 2m radius around trees 4m high and over, and a 3.5m radius around trees 12m high and over.

Verge trees also have to be kept, or new ones planted where there isn’t one.

The new policy’s supported by Bayswater councillors Chris Cornish, Sally Palmer, Filomena Piffaretti, Lorna Clarke, Catherine Ehrhardt, Giorgia Johnson and Elli-Petersen Pik.

Cr Brent Fleeton, who’s not keen on telling people what to do with trees on their own land, lodged the sole no vote.

He said “there seems to be a lot of stick around the policy and very little incentive for owners”.

He also thought having a safe-space radius around trees was un-policeable.

Stirling and Vincent councils offer incentives for developers who retain or plant trees, giving them some leeway in the planning requirements.

by DAVID BELL

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