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Rules for groups of trees in urban areas OK says Judge Jackson.

Posted by SC Comments Off on Rules for groups of trees in urban areas OK says Judge Jackson.

Judge Jackson in the Environment Court has supported general tree rules for areas of trees or groups of trees in urban areas such as those at Titirangi and the pohutukawa lined cliffs of North Shore. The former N Shore City Council, Waitakere City Council and Auckland Regional Council had sought a declaratory judgement as to what the Government’s Resource Management Simpifying and Streamlining Amendment Act 2009 meant with regard to areas of trees important for biodiversity, amenity or as stormwater and erosion control.

He has said that those rules can stand, and are consistent with the amendment. This means similar rules in other Council areas throughout New Zealand will likewise still have force after the Amendment Act comes into force in 2012. For Auckland Council, it also means it can include such tree rules as it develops the new Unitary Plan.

The process of scheduling individual trees is still important but the Council will now have to go through its lists and see which trees are still protected under the old rules, now that Judge Jackson has delivered this welcome clarification.

This judgement does not effect Piha which is outside the urban area, nevertheless, it will help protect trees in places such as Laingholm and Titirangi that are part of the Waitakere Ranges.

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