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Dorcas St “disgrace”

11 Feb 2016

Dorcas St “disgrace” Image

Residents and workers in Dorcas St have complained to the City of Melbourne about the removal of three mature trees, which they claim they weren’t consulted about.

Dorcas St resident Barry Burckhardt contacted Southbank Local News late last year after council workers reportedly removed the trees leaving a “great, big mess behind.”

Mr Burckhardt labeled the council’s actions as a “disgrace” and said residents and businesses were equally angered by the removal.

Business owner Ken Wallace said his recent acquisition of an outdoor seating permit had been rendered useless by the removal, due to the loss of shade and temporary footpath closure.

“We applied for an outdoor area seating permit last year, which was granted three months before the removal. We weren’t consulted at all,” he said.

“The trees would have to be about 20 years old. They’ve put in new boxes but they can’t plant new ones until June.”

While stating that tree removals were always a last resort, a spokesperson for the City of Melbourne said the trees under question had deteriorated over a number of years and needed to be replaced.

“There are a number of services running underground at this site such as gas, electricity and telecommunication equipment. This means trees cannot be planted directly into the nature strip, and instead they must be planted in boxes,” the spokesperson said.  

“We conducted works to try and retain the trees by rebuilding the planter boxes and improving the soil and root conditions.”

“Whilst we were able to successfully retain one tree, the remaining three trees were more root-bound than we anticipated. This made the trees unstable and they had to be removed.”

The spokesperson said council had conducted community consultation on a new streetscape for Dorcas St and that they expected trees to be replanted by the end of autumn.

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