JRPP verdict to determine fate of new fire station
A DECISION will be made today on whether a 150-yearold gum tree will stop the proposed $3.8 million Ropes Crossing fire station.
The Sydney West Joint Regional Planning Panel will visit the Tregear site before meeting to make a decision.
The Standard revealed last week that work on the new station on Ellsworth Drive was to start in February but stalled when concerns were raised over the need for trees to be removed.
Plans were reconfigured to require only one forest red gum tree and a small group of casuarina trees to be removed at the site.
A report rejected by Blacktown Council in April said while the tree had hollows with “outstanding habitat value”, it “has structural issues which could pose a significant risk to persons and property” and the hollows could be relocated.
The proposal has now been referred to the JRPP for determination.
FRNSW assistant director properties Andrew Peters estimates further delays could cost up to $800,000.
“While the area’s needs are catered for now, FRNSW is seeking to build a fire station at Tregear to address the growing fire and emergency response needs of the area, and improve response times,” Mr Peters said.
“Delays in construction could impede response times in the future, potentially endangering life and property.”
One objector, Dr Adrian Davis, wrote to Blacktown Council arguing the tree was part of the critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland-Shale Plain Woodland Community and should be protected.
Other objectors, Wayne Olling and Daniel Taylor, wrote of the need to have a minimal impact on trees and maintain the hollow for native fauna.