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26 November 2015

Main Street Tree Removal Decision Released

The Gore District Council is to consider increasing footpath cleaning and other practical steps to mitigate the effects of leaves and debris from trees in Gore’s Main Street.

This is among the suggestions to come out of a hearing regarding requests from retailers Bryan Burgess, of B&B Sport, and Paul McPhail, of 100% Selectrix, to remove two dawn redwood trees near their shops.

The Council received 33 submissions about the trees’ removal. Of that 20 supported the retailers’ requests, one was neutral and 12 wanted the trees retained. Seven submitters spoke at the hearing, held last month before a panel made up of Crs Nicky Davis, Cliff Bolger and Bret Highsted.

In its decision released this week, the hearing panel declined the requests. The panel saw the removal of the trees as a drastic step that should be taken only as a last resort following consideration of other options.

However, the panel acknowledged the concerns of the two retailers and those submitters who supported the trees’ removal, and believed there were wider issues that needed to be considered.

After talking with Chief Executive Stephen Parry it was agreed to put together a report, to be presented to the Council’s operations committee, on 

  • The cleaning of footpaths to remove, as far as practical, leaves and other litter from the trees;
  • Action to avoid any risks to people and potential damage to vehicles as a result of uneven footpath and road surfaces;
  • Improving the visibility of signage on buildings;
  • Avoiding damage to buildings; and
  • Monitoring and consultation over the next five years to assess the growth of the trees and any associated issues.

This was not intended to provide an opportunity to review its decision, the panel said. Rather it was to trial, over a reasonable time, a preventative maintenance programme and mitigation measures.

The panel has asked for a full review and assessment in 2020 of the issues raised by the retailers’ requests and submissions lodged, and a report put together for the Council.

Hearing Panel's decision [PDF, 2 MB]

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: info@goredc.govt.nz