These villas have lost their natural screens.
These villas have lost their natural screens. Brenden Ray

Anger over tree screen removal

KORORA residents facing a major development site in Plantain Road have been devastated by the disappearance of a screening belt of trees and shrubs which protected their homes from the construction site.

Resident Ann Worboys said the original approval for the development in 2005 had required retention of the screening belt, which was important to residents.

The trees and shrubs, a mixture of native and exotic species, were on the land being developed.

Mrs Worboys said she understood that the trees had been bulldozed immediately after the developer had received approval for a variation in the development application from Coffs Harbour City Council, with residents having no chance to object to the change.

“We were promised some of the trees could stay – it seems as though developers can do what they like but if there is a gum tree going to fall on your house, you can’t move that,” she said.

Other residents said they would especially miss the birds which had lived in the shelter belt.

They said the development application as originally approved clearly showed the native trees must stay.

“It will take years for new trees to grow,” Mrs Worboys said.

The development by Nhan Hong Doan of Opalcoffs Holdings Pty Ltd on the coastal site was approved in 2005 as a $9.6 million staged project to include 85 townhouses and a building containing a dwelling, restaurant and store, as well as a road and public reserves.

A spokesperson for Coffs Harbour City Council said the DA was a matter for the Department of Planning.

Project superintendent Graham Knight said yesterday that removal of the trees had ‘definitely’ been approved by Coffs Harbour City Council but there had been some delay until various landscaping plans were approved.

He said the developer had prepared landscaping plans but he was not aware of what those contained.

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