KEEP VEGETATION: Councillor David Lewis with cleared vegetation in the background.
KEEP VEGETATION: Councillor David Lewis with cleared vegetation in the background. Alistair Brightman

STOP THE CHOP: Councillor wants trees to stick around

A COUNCILLOR is floating a plan which he says gets a tick for both sustainability and saving ratepayers money.

Division six councillor David Lewis, who is a current member of the Fraser Coast Regional Council's Environment and Regulatory round table, would like to see resolutions passed to alter planning schemes to keep as much existing vegetation as possible in future developments.

"It is my personal opinion when we have a development, the thing that seems to suffer is the loss of vegetative corridors and street trees," he said.

"To maximise profit, developers often want narrower streets and smaller allotment sizes which means you don't have room for trees if you have footpaths and no room on the land allotments for trees on properties."

Cr Lewis said not only affected the aesthetic but also does the lack of trees raise the temperature in urban areas.

"The various options for how we fine tune this idea are still being discussed," he said.

"I've had a huge number of complaints about the amount of land-clearing at some local developments.

 

"If we alter the planning scheme, then future councils won't have to retrospectively fit of trees like the a proposal to plant 100,000 trees in the Fraser Coast including street trees. If we do this we can make sure we don't recommit the sins of the past and ultimately save future councils money."

Cr Lewis acknowledged there were concerns larger allotment and footpath sizes could increase the price of new housing.

"The other side of that is is if you make the development more interesting and maintain the vegetation areas and animal habitats then the subdivision becomes more attractive," he said.

"If we are trying to attract people to town, especially those in the higher end jobs then there is a market for the slightly higher end subdivision as well.

"Professionals particularly in the health and university industries will be more attracted to subdivisions and urban areas which are ecologically sustainable with vegetation rather than just an urban desert."