Safety before trees

Stuff reports:

John and Margaret Chatterley say they have explored every option to save their protected pohutukawa tree, but fear it may destroy their house.

The Auckland couple has applied for resource consent from Auckland Council to chop down a 12 metre pohutukawa tree in their front yard.

The tree’s roots have intertwined with the gas pipes below their home on Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna, and already caused one gas leak on March 6.

They shouldn’t need to ask permission to cut it down if it is a hazard. Safety should come first.

The Chatterley’s resource consent application to Auckland Council contains documents from a private arborist, gas fitter, and the Contact Energy company, who all acknowledge the pohutukawa tree needs to be removed.

Which should be enough, but …

However, consulting arborist for Auckland Council Andrew Benson wrote in an email correspondence with Auckland Council senior planner Jason Drury that he would like to explore all options before removing the tree.

“Removing the tree to address some localised root incursion seems rather drastic. I’d rather support (with conditions) some root severance to effect the repairs,” Benson wrote.

He’s not the one who has to live there with the possibility of a gas explosion.

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