Call to check rules before chopping trees
While the rules about tree protection remain inconsistent throughout Auckland the council is reminding people to check before chopping any specimens.
Until the Auckland Council adopts the Unitary Plan, which will provide one rulebook for the whole region, a number of different rules applying to tree cutting and pruning still exist under the former plans.
The council has revised the extent of the general tree protection rules for Rodney, the North Shore and the old Auckland City Council area, meaning council consent may no longer be required to cut or prune trees.
But planning manager Penny Pirrit says some trees are still protected and need to
district be checked against the tree register.
‘‘These circumstances are usually site-specific and include the specific zoning of a property, the proximity to streams and the coast, whether the tree is scheduled or whether the tree is protected as a condition of a previous resource consent or covenant,’’ Ms Pirrit says.
‘‘If you fell or damage a protected tree, you may be prosecuted and fined.’’
Ms Pirrit says the latest changes to the rules will mean that some residents who have resource consent applications pending will no longer need a consent to remove or prune the trees.
In those cases, a letter will be sent to advise them that they can go ahead without any authorisation needed.
There are no changes to tree protection rules in the former Waitakere, Manukau, Franklin or Papakura council areas, or the Hauraki Gulf Island’s and CBD areas.
In recent years, there have been a number of legal processes that have changed the tree rules for the various district plan rules across the region.
intro- duced the Resource Management Reform Bill to Parliament last month.
Among other things, the bill proposes to further restrict all councils’ ability to protect urban trees and would revoke most, if not all, the general protection rules across Auckland.