A letter from June Peka:
Your report (Oct/Nov STANN) that three quarters of the approximately 1900 trees which have currently enjoyed heritage /protected/notable status for many years in Christchurch, are about to lose that protection, is most alarming.
What has changed so dramatically that these once very valued features of our landscape and ecology can now become firewood, with the scribble of a pen ( and the roar of a developer’s chainsaw) ? Individual people and organisations who fought hard to make sure these trees were preserved for future generations have been well and truly kicked in the teeth.
I understand that some within the council are aghast at this autocratic turn of events and the fact that the public was only made aware of the changes proposed in the new district plan after the date of submissions/objections had passed.
Is this a cost-cutting exercise? Surely not, when our council has a half million dollars to spend on a rusty sculpture. Is it related to the fact that 20,000 sections are to be made available in the Christchurch area in the near future, and that developers do not appreciate hold ups in the consenting process?
This is a major reduction in the responsibility we have charged our council with. Does it not require some considered discussion and consultation with the people affected – that is everyone who lives in Christchurch, the garden city?
I am concerned for St Albans and other established suburbs. In particular I fear for landmark historic notable elm at 52/54 Innes Rd, which last year was deemed safe from the bulldozer of the developer who plans to carve the property into three or four smaller sections. Now, I suspect he is laughing all the way to the bank.