IT may be of interest to Bathurst and Kelso residents to be more informed in regard to the 165-lot residential subdivision proposed by Bathurst Regional Council between Limekilns Road and Marsden Lane, Kelso, which is still subject to State Government approval.
The site was an orchard, however, all the fruit trees were removed a few years ago.
The site has approximately 570 mature trees growing there, made up of approximately 300 mature pine trees and 170 native species. The trees vary in height from 10 to 25 metres and can be seen from many vantage points in Bathurst and Kelso.
The trees are predominantly around the perimeter of the site, and others in a park-like setting.
The council development approval documents show that it is intended to remove all the trees, with the obvious intention to gain as many housing lots as possible in the development.
The residents around the area who are aware of the council plans do not want all the trees removed as it will seriously change the local environment and vastly alter the views around Bathurst. They believe the estate layout should be changed so a good number of the trees can be left in place.
Other residents of Bathurst should be aware that the scenery to the east will be vastly different if all the trees are removed.
The view of some of the trees facing Bathurst occupies a length of 800 metres on the western end of the development between Marsden Lane and Limekilns Road, all in clear view from many parts of Bathurst and Kelso.
It was recently National Tree Day and Bathurst Regional Council was prominent in promoting the day and planting new trees along the river.
But in a time when trees are acknowledged to be a defence against climate change, it appears that Bathurst Regional Council is ignoring its own “aims” set down in the Bathurst Regional Local Environmental Plan 2014 in regard to “Management of climate change” and “To protect and enhance the region’s landscapes, views, vistas and open spaces”.
Council is to be applauded for developing residential sites in a time when private involvement for such developments is uncertain, however, in my opinion, a more balanced approach respecting existing residents’ concerns is required.