Plan Change 129 seeks to replace the “Heritage Tree” provisions in chapters 14, 59 and Appendix 2 of the Operative Whangarei District Plan (WDP) with one district wide chapter titled ‘Notable and Public Trees (NPT)’ that relates to the protection of individual trees or groups of trees.
Both individually and collectively trees provide a significant contribution to the historical, ecological, cultural and amenity values of the District. Those specimens that exemplify these characteristics are identified as being “notable”.
Trees in road reserves, parks and reserves make the streetscape more appealing while improving pedestrian amenity and public health and provide important ecological functions. However, road reserves, parks and reserves facilitate a wide range of uses which can conflict with the presence of trees. As such Trees over a certain size in road reserves, parks and reserves are referred to throughout the proposed NPT chapter as “public trees”, with allowances made for necessary works.
The review of the ‘Heritage Tree’ provisions in the WDP has identified:
Conflicts between trees and private land uses;
Conflicts between maintenance and efficient operation of infrastructure and the call for protection of trees;
Heritage trees have identified social, cultural and environmental values;
The need to ensure that trees are considered in relation to future generations, and therefore identified and retained through future subdivision and development processes;
The benefit associated with enabling trees on road reserves, parks and reserves to be efficiently managed in order to support the ongoing retention of this asset.
The recommended change from ‘Heritage Trees’ to ‘Notable and Public Trees’, recognises that a large number of trees afforded protection under these provisions are located on road reserves, parks and reserves and that those scheduled in the WDP are not necessarily scheduled for their heritage values, rather a range of more diverse values.
PC129 does not propose to amend the list of scheduled trees included in the WDP, all of which would remain protected under the proposed provisions. However, it is acknowledged that submissions could seek to add or remove trees from the schedule following notification of PC129.
The draft chapter can be found in the General Information tab below for your review.