I used to live in a house with a 50 year old ash tree out the back. It was an inner north Canberra suburb with a very small, badly sited cottage on a long, thin strip of land. I wanted desperately to knock down and rebuild or renovate. I put up with the house for years because it was such a great location. I tried many, many times to get planning approval for various extensions, however, the one thing that always prevented me from doing this was the magnificent 50 year old giant Golden Ash tree on my back door. People told me to ‘accidentally’ poison it, but I just couldn’t. It was so lovely.
Indeed, so lovely that when the local government created a master plan for the suburb, they identified it as a tree of significance. Many times I heard the reply from the planning office that we would never ever ever get permission to get rid of it or knock it down.
So it was with a lot of regret that I ended up selling my house. The buyers were the local government.
I figured at least the tree would be safe from accidental poisoning. That was a couple of years ago. Today, I drove past my old house, and you will have guessed by now – the 15 meter canopy of my glorious ash tree (the bane and pleasure of my life when I lived in the house) was GONE! How did that happen?
Can the local government by-pass it’s own masterplan when us ordinary mortals cannot? I would never have sold up if I could have removed the tree. It is a uber-prime redevelopment site and worth a sh*t load of money without the tree.
At least twice if not three times what I had to sell for because it couldn’t be redeveloped because of the tree!!! I feel like I’ve been ripped off! Do I have any recourse now? Probably not.
The government giveth and the government taketh away and we all just have to suck it up.