A scheduled maple tree near a historic Heriot Row home will
be the next to have its fate considered by the Dunedin City
The tree, more than 80 years old, is on a section next to the
Basil Hooper-designed Ritchie House.
Although the section appears to be part of the house's
garden, the site is owned separately by Drysdale Ltd, which
has applied to have the tree removed to allow the site to be
sold for development.
The tree is listed as significant on the council's schedule
of trees, which means it cannot be removed without resource
Recent public notification of the consent application
attracted 11 submissions, 10 of them opposing the tree's
removal. Council staff are also recommending the panel
considering the application reject it because the tree is
healthy and a predominant feature of the area.
Another council panel recently allowed the felling of a
125-year-old significant tree, a wellingtonia, growing in the
enclosed courtyard of a residential facility for people with
intellectual disabilities in Taieri Rd.
Another panel is considering the fate of a more than
80-year-old scheduled gum tree in Saddle Hill Rd, which its
owner, Heather McLean, applied to remove because of concerns
it was deteriorating and falling branches threatened road
users, her woolshed and power lines below the tree.
A panel yesterday considered her application and six
submissions in favour of the tree's removal, including one
from her neighbour who said watching the tree in gale-force
winds was ''frightening''. It also heard evidence from
council staff who said the tree should not be removed, as it
was healthy, stable, could be seen from a great distance and
contributed to the natural amenity of the area.
The panel has reserved its decision until it has visited the
Opponents to the removal of the Heriot Row maple said they
felt the tree was an important part of the architectural
integrity of Ritchie House and developing the site would
depreciate the historical value of the house.
Wojceich Klobukowski, the former owner of the site, said he
placed a convenant on the site when he sold it in 2001, with
the purpose of keeping the garden undeveloped and part of the
The author of a book about the work of Basil Hooper, Ralph
Allen, said the tree and its landscape were architecturally
as important as Olveston House.
Another submitter, Athol Parks, said the removal of the tree
was ''inappropriate ... in a heritage precinct in a city
which values its natural and built heritage''.
The panel will consider the application on Wednesday.