Trees face chop

GONE: Trees lopped to the north of the Oakdene Estate. 157412


THE Ocean Grove Community Association has expressed its concern for the town’s Grubb Road gateway, after a recent application to remove 150 trees.
Community association president Michael Harbour said the application, if approved, could result in the removal of 600 metres of trees.
“It changes the character of the main entry to Ocean Grove, which is beautifully treed on both sides,” he said.
“It will make us look like any other suburb – where you drive by house after house.”
Shell Road Developments made the application to remove the trees for the future Kingston Village shopping centre.
The main purpose of removing them, Mr Harbour said, was to build four entrances to the shopping centre.
“Originally it was meant to be two but they’ve increased it to four.”
Mr Harbour said there is no mention of replacement trees in the council permit application.
The proposed tree removal, he said, went against provisions in the council’s Ocean Grove Significant Tree Project.
“This flies in the face of that.”
Shell Road Developments managing director Jason Corless said his company had carefully designed the road access points with VicRoads and the Geelong council.
“A landscaped masterplan has been developed for the precinct with careful consideration to the Grubb Road entrance,” he said.
“The design of these access points takes into consideration the vegetation loss associated with the interim and ultimate duplication design for Grubb Road.”
Mr Corless said future Grubb Road provisions would allow planting of vegetation to complement the coastal environment and the Kingston Neighbourhood Activity Centre Precinct.
The council first advertised the planning permit application on 7 July. Opportunities for public comment closed on 27 July.
A number of trees were also recently removed on Grubb Road, north of the Oakdene estate.
“The problem is if Grubb Road was duplicated they wouldn’t have to remove these trees because they would be in the median strip,” Mr Harbour said.
Any trees Ocean Grove might lose during a future duplication, he said, should be planned in advanced so they can be offset before construction.
Mr Harbour said the community association would lobby hard for the duplication of Grubb Road during the 2018 Victorian Election.
The council received two objections to Shell Road Development’s application.
If a permit is granted, the developer would be required to offset the native vegetation loss in accordance with the planning scheme provisions, a council spokesperson said.