Waimakariri District Council Approves Removal of Notable Tree

Council approval has been given for the immediate removal of a privately owned notable tree near the intersection of Williams Street and Hilton Street in Kaiapoi.

The tree owners engaged an arborist to assess the condition of the 80 year old beech tree, after several large limbs split, falling against a building.Damaged notable beech tree on Hilton Street

The assessment has identified significant and extensive rot to the tree, and the arborist recommends immediate removal to prevent injury to people and damage to property.

The tree is listed as a ‘notable tree’ in the current District Plan. A notable tree is a tree or group of trees that are regarded as being of special importance, and have greater legal protection ensuring they can’t be cut down or removed without a resource consent.

However due to the extensive damage and risk of injury or damage to property, Council has approved its removal under Section 330 of the RMA. This provides for emergency works where needed to resolve issues that need ‘immediate preventative or remedial measures’ to avoid injury or serious property damage.

“While it’s disappointing, due to the condition of the tree it’s appropriate in this case for it to be removed as soon as possible," says Matt Bacon, Council's Planning  Manager.

We’ve been working with the arborist and property owners to work through options, but sadly the rot and damage is extensive and if left, it will pose safety risks”.

Work to remove the tree will begin today and will be carried out by a qualified arborist on behalf of the property owners.

Following the immediate removal, the property owners will apply for a retrospective resource consent within 20 working days, as required under Section 330A of the RMA.

There are 59 trees listed as notable trees in the Proposed Waimakariri District Council District Plan. Details of these can be viewed here.