Wyndham residents have reacted angrily to the removal of 200 more trees from Werribee’s Riverwalk estate.
Development Victoria, which is developing the estate in a joint venture with Melbourne Water, cut down 200 trees along Farm Road last Friday to make way for stages 20 to 22 of the housing development, which will include 2260 residences once complete.
The felling comes six months after the state government body cut down a number of sugar gum and eucalyptus trees to make way for a new display village along Geelong Road.
Residents took to Facebook in droves last week in protest about the latest tree removal, with many branding the move disgraceful.
In response to a post on the Westleigh Gardens Community Facebook page, Wyndham mayor Peter Maynard said the council was “not happy one little bit about this”. He encouraged residents to voice their concerns with Development Victoria directly.
Peter Hood, from Development Victoria, stressed the felled trees were not heritage or old-growth trees, adding that the masterplan for Riverwalk included 5000 new trees.
“Approval for these works was received from Wyndham council as part of the overall development plan and will allow work to start on new wetlands and a neighbourhood park,” he said.
Councillor Mia Shaw said she shared the residents’ disappointment.
“It is my personal view that the trees should remain … in a growing city like Wyndham, we need to ensure that development does not come at the cost of amenity and sense of place,” she said.
“The Riverwalk Development Plan was approved back in 2010, which means there is no opportunity for this council to intervene. However, I do believe there is more we could be doing to improve the gateways to our city and this is something we are currently working on.”
Wyndham council city operations director Stephen Thorpe said: “We have worked to keep as many trees as possible, but in this case the developer is able to remove these trees as part of their approved plans.”