Thursday, 21 August 2014

A thank you to supporters of Save the Norwood Cork Tree campaign

Dear Friends of the Norwood Cork Tree, I am writing on behalf of the group to express our appreciation for your contribution to the campaign to save the Norwood Cork Tree.
Thanks to the combined efforts of the community, the cork tree will now be incorporated in the new development of Coles in Norwood SA and preserved for the enjoyment and education of future generations.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Norwood Cork Tree will be preserved

This evening the revised plan for Coles Development  off Edward St Norwood was passed by the DAP.

The revised plan preserves the cork tree and the significant river red gum near the cork tree in the car park on the western side of Coles, near Edward St. The car park will be retained in that area and there will be no building for around 15 metres from the trees on the eastern side.

The underground car park will be under the building and there will be no underground car park under the surface car park containing the cork tree and river red gum.

The development is described in the agenda for the 18 August meeting of the DAP, which is a PDF file on the NPSP Council website, but the attachments showing the plans are not published on the website.

Other modifications to the plan have improved the frontage to Edward St and the ratio of car parks to shops. There will be fewer retail outlets in the new plan.
The DAP members voted unanimously to accept the revised submission from Coles Developers and there were many comments made about the improved look of the new plan and the desirability of retaining these two trees.
It was reported at the meeting that the other parties to the development application had agreed that the new proposal satisfied their objections.

Monday, 11 August 2014

DAP Meeting to assess the amended proposal for Coles development

I have just had confirmation from NPSP Council that the DAP meeting of 18 August will assess the amended application of the developers of the Coles supermarket complex.

The Development Assessment Panel meets on the third Monday of each month at 7pm in the Mayor's Parlour, Norwood Town Hall, 175 The Parade, Norwood. The meeting is open for the public to attend, so please come if you are able to do so. 

Monday, 28 July 2014

More on the new plan from Coles Developers

I have looked at the revised plan from Coles Developers lodged with NPSP Council and the plan retains part of the current car park which surrounds both the Norwood Cork Tree and the significant River Red Gum. There is an allowance of 15 metres from the trees to the new buildings further east.
This is more than the required distance to retain the Norwood Cork Tree, without disturbance of the root zone, as a larger area was required in order to not disturb the root zone around the River Red Gum.

There will be underground parking beneath  the new supermarket and the shops. There will be a ramp for cars entering the underground car park from the southern end near the River Red Gum, which will be at ground level and rise towards the entrance. The area near the tree will be at ground level, so there will be no raised area near the tree.
The Council will establish requirements to avoid damage to the trees during the construction phase, which could take a year or more to complete, once commenced.
The matter is expected to go to the routine meeting of the Development Assessment Panel on 18 August 2014. DAP meetings are held in the Mayor's Parlour at the Norwood Town Hall (cnr George St and The Parade - enter via George St) at 7 - 11 pm.
We will post updates.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cork Tree and River Red gum to be preserved

I have just been advised by NPSP Council that they have received a modified development application by Coles Developers, which still needs to go to the DAP for approval. This application proposes to retain both the Norwood Cork Tree and the significant River Red Gum. I was also told that Coles would be having less shops and less car parks in the development and the Edward St frontage has also been modified.

This is all official information and you can view the plans at Council in the Norwood Town Hall, but copies of the plans will not be given out.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Latest News on the Norwood Cork Tree

Coles Developers have lodged an appeal to the ERD Court for approval of their Development Application and the matter has been deferred to a Conciliation Conference with a view to Coles overcoming the DAP’s reasons for refusal of the application.
After the Conciliation Conference takes place on 3 July 2014, the amended plans will be analysed by Council Staff, prior to a DAP hearing on the matter. It is unlikely that this process will be finalized before the DAP meeting of 18 August 2014.
It appears that the developers wish to make modifications to their plans that will help to overcome the objections stated by the Development Assessment Panel when they refused the application. There were three principal objections, roughly: insufficient allowance for parking, removal of significant and regulated trees and finally, the frontage to Edward St.
When the new amended development plan becomes available, we will inform you. 
In the meantime, please encourage your friends to sign the petition. 
Save the Norwood Cork Tree petition site

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Coles Developers Appeal the Development Assessment Panel Decision to the ERD Court

The Norwood Cork Tree remains in danger.
We have been advised that the decision of the Development Assessment Panel of the NPSP Council to refuse approval for the Coles Development Application for the site where the Norwood Cork Tree is located, has been appealed by the applicant to the ERD Court (Environment, Resources and Development Court).
No further details are as yet available.
This means the Norwood Cork Tree remains in considerable danger of destruction by the Developer.
An appeal means that the Developer is trying to get approval for their original application, which included removal of the Norwood Cork Tree and a number of other Significant and Regulated trees on the site of the Development.
If you have not yet signed our petition, and wish to support the Norwood Cork Tree, we ask you to sign it now.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Norwood Payneham & St Peters Council votes against making any payment to assist in moving Norwood Cork Tree

At a special meeting of Norwood Payneham & St Peters Council at 7.30 pm on 16th April 2014 Councillors voted to approve a motion that puts the onus back on Coles to fund any removal of the Norwood Cork Tree from its present location in the Coles car park.
The approved motion says (paraphrased in the absence of the exact text at this stage) that the Council supports that the Norwood Cork Tree should remain in situ, but in case any application to redevelop the car park and shops is approved, the Council will not provide any funds to move the tree.
A report commissioned from ENSPEC on the feasibility of moving the cork tree was considered. The report is available on the NPSP Council website
The report advises that the Norwood Cork Tree can be removed successfully to nearby Council owned Coke Park.
The heritage value of the tree was vigorously debated by several councillors. The Mayor, Robert Bria threatened to eject one Councillor, Luciana Marcuccitti at one point in the proceedings and another Councillor, Paul Wormald, was also called to order. 

Councillor Paul Wormald pointed out that the Council had spent several million dollars ensuring that the St Peters Town Hall complex was restored and retained, because of the heritage value of the building. He compared this with the Norwood Cork Tree, of approximately the same age, which was valuable in terms of natural heritage. Yet the Council was not prepared to spend a much smaller sum in ensuring the Norwood Cork Tree was preserved for future generations.

Councillor Luciana Marcuccitti argued that expenditure on the tree was not warranted when there were so many social problems in the area and so many more items worthy of Council expenditure. She also pointed out that many people had complained to her in the street about any expenditure on the cork tree and that many residents did not even know the tree existed. She commented on the few people who had supported the retention of the cork tree as being activists and included the local Residents Association in her remarks. She compared the idea of moving the cork tree to what happened to the Burnside River Red Gum, also in a shopping complex, and mentioned the torture that tree endured after it had been enclosed, all to no avail, as despite the advice of many experts, the tree died. 

So the prospect of saving the Norwood Cork Tree now lies in the hands of Coles Developers, should any future application to develop the site be approved. Will they take into account the recommendation of Council that this heritage tree should remain in its current location, will they fund the removal of the tree to Coke Park, or will they just chop the tree down overnight? 

The over 2400 people who signed our two petitions sincerely hope that Coles will respect the value residents have placed on the tree and plan around it. The best chance the tree has of survival is to remain in its current position, where it is still flourishing after 122 years.  

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Norwood Cork Tree

The Norwood Cork Tree is a very precious tree. Planted in his garden by pioneer industrialist Henry Buttery in 1892, the tree still grows in splendour, although its surroundings have transformed from a beautiful garden to a car park.
With no sign denoting its heritage value, most car park visitors are unaware of the significance of the tree. The Norwood Cork Tree has been described as the most significant European planted tree in South Australia.
 The aim of this blog is to raise awareness of the Norwood Cork Tree and its heritage value for Norwood residents and visitors and for the wider South Australian community.