Five trees to be removed from central Christchurch street to allow for building repairs

Trees outside Duncan's Building on High St, central Christchurch, will be removed, then replaced with young trees once ...
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Trees outside Duncan's Building on High St, central Christchurch, will be removed, then replaced with young trees once work is finished on the building.

Christchurch resident Lindsay Carswell wants the council to hold off pulling out the trees on High St in the central city. 

"It's too easy to sort of race in, make a quick decision," he said.

On Thursday the Christchurch City Council decided to remove five upright English oak trees fromone side of the street to allow repairs to the heritage-listed Duncan's Buildings.

Carswell, who presented his concerns at the meeting, said the trees had been there since the 1980s.

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"Just because the trees can't be assessed … it does not mean that the trees in question have no actual value," he said.

"I appreciate the efforts on the development of these heritage buildings, but the trees form part of the landscape."

According to a council report, the trees needed to be removed to put in steel support scaffolding while contractors carried out strengthening work and installed a new verandah.

Council staff present at the meeting said there was no other option, other than removing the building facade, carrying out work and rebuilding the facade, then replacing it - effectively constructing a new building.

Carswell said he wanted the council to "put it on hold" and try to find alternatives.

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Most of the 15 councillors present expressed reluctance to remove the trees, but ultimately saw it was necessary to get the street open again.

"It's not good for the council to be having a heritage versus tree debate," said Cr Glenn Livingstone.

Replacement trees of the same species will eventually be planted.

 - Stuff

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