Hoppers Crossing residents are calling on Wyndham council to protect gumtrees they fear could be removed if a telecommunications tower is built nearby.

The historic trees are located near the intersection of Morris Road and Nicklaus Drive and not far from a council-owned reserve at 238 Morris Road.

The council last year gave notice of its intention to potentially lease part of the reserve for the proposed installation of a 30-metre-high telecommunications tower.

More than 160 people have signed a petition opposing the tower.

Residents Steve Hardeman and Andrew Knight, who live nearby, said they were concerned that if the tower was installed, the nearby “beautiful old gumtrees” could be removed.

They have sent a letter to the council, asking for the trees to be included on Wyndham’s Significant Trees Register.

The register contains a list of about 40 trees that require planning permits to be removed or lopped.

Mr Hardeman and Mr Knight said they believed the trees should be included on the register because they were part of the original Morris family home and dairy site.

Morris Road was named after the farming family headed by Martin and Emma Morris, who both died in 1937.

“They are also the largest trees for many kilometres around, provide mature tree habitat for many native birds and help create a very rare piece of open shaded space along Morris Road,” Mr Hardeman said.

Wyndham council’s director of city economy, innovation and liveabilty, Peter McKinnon, said:

“Many trees within Wyndham contain significant scientific, social, historic and amenity attributes that are important to our community and bring a wealth of benefits.

“Wyndham City is currently in the process of developing a Significant Tree Register in order to protect these valued natural assets.

“It is the purpose of the Significant Tree Register to provide a framework where significant trees within the municipality can be identified, assessed and afforded appropriate protection.

“We are currently in the process of seeking submissions from residents. Those who wish to nominate a tree that has scientific, social, historical or amenity significance are invited to do so by 31 March 2019.

“If a tree makes it onto the register, a request will be made to the minister for it to be protected within the planning scheme.

“If the request is later granted it would then require a planning permit to be obtained before the tree could be removed.”

“In relation to 238 Morris Road, a planning permit application would first need to be submitted for the proposed works before the potential impact on the trees could be assessed.”

By Alesha Capone