31 Aug 2015

Protected trees at risk from council proposal

8:53 pm on 31 August 2015

Hundreds of protected trees on private property in Christchurch could be at risk of being cut down if a city council proposal goes ahead.

The proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan lists only 380 trees, plus a few more in four groups, in the Schedule of Significant Trees.

Currently about 1900 trees are protected.

The proposed change means property owners could fell once protected trees without a resource consent.

City Planning Unit Manager Brigitte de Ronde said a 2014 assessment found the health of some trees had deteriorated or their shapes had been altered by storm damage or pruning.

She said, however, an increase in council-owned trees in the list meant that overall more trees would be protected.

Submissions on stage three of the Christchurch Replacement District Plan, which covers trees, close this Friday.

David Compton-Moen, a landscape architect, questioned the plan, saying established trees on private property must be protected.

As the Canterbury chairman of the Institute of Landscape Architects, he said without large, established trees, the enjoyment people get out of them will be lost.

Mr Compton-Moen said this was especially concerning because of the level of development happening in Christchurch since the earthquakes.