CUT DOWN: Trees removed by the council from the park in Remnant Dr, Clunes.
CUT DOWN: Trees removed by the council from the park in Remnant Dr, Clunes. Contributed

Council removes 100 new trees after complaint by neighbour

A COMMUNITY tree planting has upset one neighbour, resulting in Lismore Council removing more than 100 trees from a vacant block in Clunes.

Simone Gould said she first approached the council about planting some trees on a council-owned block in Remnant Dr back in 2006.

She said she was asked to prepare a small plan of management and agreed to certain conditions such as mulching and maintaining the trees.

"We did some fundraising, advertised it in the Clunes Clues... (Lismore mayor) Jenny Dowell even provided $100 towards the planting along with other individuals and groups.

"Over 20 local residents did the planting. It was really lovely with everyone from grandparents and parents with their kids. Everyone loved it," she said.

"One of the conditions was that I was to go to the neighbours and ask them if they supported the plantings and every neighbour said it was fine, including the woman who has now complained about it. She signed a statement and I have provided all of that to council."

The woman who has complained moved away from Clunes for several years and has just recently returned.

Ms Gould said there was a list of about 20 complaints, most of which the council considered "trivial", but they have acted on a concern about visibility.

Another resident of Remnant Dr, Vlad Kola, told The Northern Star the complainant's concern was that the park would become an area where kids would go to drink and take drugs.

But Ms Gould said the slope of the land did more to obscure vision from the street than the trees.

"Removing the trees has not and will not improve any perceived security issues," she said. "It would at least make some sense if her complaints were valid."

On October 17 about 80 trees were cut and poisoned and yesterday Mr Kola said the council was back, removing a further 15-30 trees.

Lismore Council's parks coordinator Martin Souter said the initial approval to plant on the block was only given verbally and only for "10 or so" trees.

He said the 100 or so trees planted were "well beyond the initial discussions with council".

"In subsequent meetings on site with the owner (neighbour), it was agreed that the excessive plantings, directly fronting the reserve, would cause some visual blocking of the remainder of the reserve," he said.

The council originally hoped to transplant the trees but this was not done because of the dry conditions.


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