Tree register no barrier for home buyers

SEVEN out of 10 people would still buy a property if it had trees protected by a register, according to a survey by Stirling council.

The council has moved a step closer to adopting a significant tree register and will send it off to the WA Planning Commission and planning minister Rita Saffioti for their approval. 

A staff report to the council indicated the WAPC was likely to support a scheme amendment to enshrine the register in law.

It also indicated the state’s planning department was considering tree registers from a number of councils and was trying to establish some uniformity; one of its recommendations was to strike the word “protected” from the scheme amendments and use “registered” instead.

It also asked the council to remove a clause from a previous scheme amendment relating to protecting trees on development sites, saying it would be better to have both considered in the current amendment.

An online survey by the council found only 7.9 per cent of respondents opposed a significant tree register.

Just over half supported the register – some with modifications – while another 41.3 per cent simply made suggestions without indicating their preference.

Eighty per cent believed a register would help to increase Stirling’s canopy cover, which has been rapidly diminishing.

The city has worked up a policy to guide operating the register, which include provisions such as notifying any ratepayers whose property is within a tree’s root zone before it can be registered.

The policy will sit on ice until the scheme amendment is signed off.

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