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Update on 28 Sturt Road, Brighton

Wednesday 27 April 2022

In response to reports of trees being felled on the property at 28 Sturt Road, Brighton, the City of Holdfast Bay can confirm that 11 trees, which have previously been protected through decisions of the Council Assessment Panel and identified as regulated or significant, remain standing.

A protection zone has also been erected around the regulated trees while demolition of the homestead on the property takes place.

The building is not protected by a State Heritage listing, despite two past attempts by council.

Non-regulated trees or non-heritage listed buildings can be removed by the property’s owner without being required to first seek approval from council.

Holdfast Bay Mayor Amanda Wilson said council has played an important role in protecting many trees on the property.

“In 2020, we undertook an audit of the vegetation on the land and this provided an accurate record of the regulated and significant trees on the site, many of which enjoy added protection on the basis of their species as well,” Mayor Wilson said.

“Regarding the homestead, it does not enjoy heritage protection. Although the property was recommended for Local Heritage listing by council in 2001, it was ultimately excluded from the final list after consideration of the landowner’s objection by the State Local Heritage Advisory Committee, which resolved to remove the property from the list of Local Heritage Places in the Local Heritage Plan Amendment Report.

“Another bid to list the property in 2008 also failed.

“In 2021, we went one step further with our interest in protecting the building and trees on the property.

“Council resolved to investigate purchasing the property if it was still available for sale. However, at that time, it had already been sold to the current owner.”

Previously, the Council Assessment Panel had denied prior attempts to have the regulated trees removed from the site, which saved the destruction of 11 trees.

Council administration and an independent arborist will continue to monitor activity on the site for any work that poses a risk to the protected trees.

Council has also ensured the landowner is fully aware of the obligations regarding the retention and protection of certain trees, courtesy of documentation prepared by council administration and provided to him at the point of the land’s sale.

The terms ‘Regulated’ and ‘Significant’ were revised via the Development (Regulated Trees) Variation Regulations 2011. Regulated trees have a trunk circumference of between two (2) to three (3) metres, measured one (1) metre from the base.

Significant trees have a trunk circumference in excess of three (3) metres, measured one (1) metre from the base.

Whilst there are a total of nine regulated trees and 12 significant trees on the property at 28 Sturt Road, Brighton, only 11 enjoy protection, with the remaining trees having exemptions due to their location relative to other buildings.

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