Developer to fight to allow felling of tree

Mosgiel developer Craig Horne wants to fell this oak tree in King St. However, council planners...
Mosgiel developer Craig Horne wants to fell this oak tree in King St. However, council planners have recommended against the proposal. Photo by Linda Robertson.
A Mosgiel developer will fight the Dunedin City Council over his right to fell a large oak tree which shades a Mosgiel house on a planned subdivision.

Council planner Lianne Darby has recommended the hearings committee decline CC Otago Ltd's resource consent application to fell the tree in King St, Mosgiel.

The tree, which is about 25m high, made a significant contribution to the amenity of the area, was healthy and the effects of its removal could not be mitigated, Ms Darby said in her report to the committee.

However, CC Otago Ltd director Craig Horne contends the tree's canopy shades the existing dwelling and affects the comfort of its occupants, outweighing its amenity value.

He was hopeful the committee would see the issue from a "pragmatic perspective''.

"From a planning perspective I can see where she is coming from,'' he said.

"It's the normal response. I work in the industry and see these typical responses.''

The case for felling the tree was compelling, he said.

"There's always an issue with safety ... but the large concern is the shading and the cold effect that tree has, particularly on the dwelling at 27 King St,'' he said.

"The negative impacts ... are far more significant than the positive impacts for the wider area.''

Ms Darby's report to the committee said felling the tree would be against the objectives and policies of the district plan and the purpose of the Resource Management Act.

The council's landscape architect and parks officer, trees, had assessed the tree and were opposed to its removal.

"The landscape architect considers that the tree contributes to the wider amenity and that it has considerable presence and dominance on the street,'' Ms Darby said.

"The parks officer, trees, considers the tree to be a good, healthy specimen which did not present any immediate health or safety problems.''

The application will be heard by the committee on April 1.

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