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Help Please! VIC - Knox Council - Significant Landscape Overlay SLO3

Discussion in 'Development' started by Robishka, 12th Jul, 2015.

  1. Robishka

    Robishka Member

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    Hi Team,

    Considering purchasing a property in Knox Council that has the SLO3 on it, with visions of splitting the large block and building at the rear.

    http://planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au/schemes/knox/ordinance/42_03s03_knox.pdf

    I understand (and agree) with the concept, however how does it work in the real world?

    I'm no green thumb, so I'm not sure what types of trees they are. Say for example there's several tall trees in the middle of the backyard, are you able to chop them down and then re-plant natives in more convenient locations so I can fit a house in the backyard instead?

    Any help or previous experiences would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance..
     
  2. OC1

    OC1 Well-Known Member

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    Call the council and speak to someone who handles this ie arborist.

    Alternatively you could call a private arborist but best to have a property in mind when asking questions.

    Generally stay away from natives unless you know how to analyse the health of such trees. Overlays can be a killer to developments, especially landscape and vegetation overlays.
     
  3. Robishka

    Robishka Member

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    Thanks mate, yeah calling the council first thing tomorrow.. Hopefully it's a case of 'ok if you plant others to replace them'?!
     
  4. littletee

    littletee Active Member

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    How did you go Robishka with this?

    In my experience anything to do with native trees and Council will be all over you, you won't be able to touch them.

    Dealing with Knox now and they are very very conservative, certainly not the easiest Council to deal with.
     
  5. Robishka

    Robishka Member

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    An update - council man came out and couldn't give us a clear answer, so we've been asked to draw up some rough drawings for our intentions with the site and they will (tentatively) assess our intentions as to whether they will be looked upon 'favourably' or not when the time comes for the proper permits.
    It's hard to tell which way they will go - I understand they want to keep the trees in the area, but this is 1100sqm with blocks of 4-5 units up and down the street and we only want to put a small house in the back..
    Will keep you posted!
     
  6. littletee

    littletee Active Member

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    Yes let us know how you go......keen to be kept updated. Good Luck!
     
  7. Robishka

    Robishka Member

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    A further update:
    Council men had their meeting and whilst unable to give a straight answer, did state 'the trees in question will be UNLIKELY to prevent a REASONABLE development'.. We've taken this as a green light for us and have proceeded with the sale, so we're very excited to go through the process..
    An email from council man stated:

    After meeting with the Manager and Coordinators, the following items came from the meeting

    · A Planning Permit should be applied for, for the construction of a second dwelling to the rear of existing dwelling with the removal of vegetation included.

    · The removal of trees are only one consideration from the planning perspective and an Urban Planner will assess the application; there may be obligations on the existing owner for items such as concreting the driveway, Private Open Space etc.

    · The removal of the trees will be assessed as part of the application, taking into consideration all aspects of the proposal

    · Upon observation of the trees, it is possible that one or more of the trees will be issued a permit for removal under the application; please note that this email is not approval for the removal of the vegetation.

    · As mentioned already, it would take a significant tree to prevent a reasonable development from going ahead.

    · Any design proposal in these situations where trees are protected by planning overlays, should seek to minimise the removal of the protected vegetation.
     
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  8. OC1

    OC1 Well-Known Member

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    Council Man......is that like a Super Hero? :)
     
  9. littletee

    littletee Active Member

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    Nice one Robishka, good luck with it and keep us updated how it all goes. Cheers!
     
  10. willy1111

    willy1111 Member

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    @Robishka

    How are things progressing for you?

    I hope your dealings with Knox council regarding trees is more fruitful than my experience!

    Our drafty made multiple attempts to get something solid concerning the impact of trees on our block. The head of the parks department (which makes the major decisions concerning trees) dodged and weaved initial enquiries and requests to look at the tree prior to submission.

    The assigned council town planner said it shouldn't be a problem in our pre-app, however we didn't have someone from the parks department in that meeting, which we should have pushed for.

    Plans all drawn up, aborist report recommending removal of trees, one had some sort of disease and is likely to die in the next 5 years.

    Good ol parks department at council come back with all sorts of requests, they wanted some sort of ultra sound on the tree at a cost of approx $5K to determine the health of the ill tree.

    Short and long of it - there were 2 protected trees (native or indigenous) which they wouldn't allow us to remove.

    Basically took us 6 months to get to this stage. And because they wouldn't allow the indigenous (native) ugly looking gum trees to be removed we had to redesign and start from scratch working around the trees, and pay an additional $5k to our drafty to re-design, plus lost time in interest payments/opportunity costs.

    Looks like we will still manage a profitable development (the market moving up has helped), but we only got 3 on the block rather than 4 which would have given a nice boost to the bottom line and a lot of wasted open space around these big ugly gum trees. (if you are in Knox I am happy to pm you the address if you want to do a drive buy)

    I don't want to put a dampener on things but I wouldn't put too much weight on what they say until you have an endorsed plan.

    If they are not native or indigenous trees you shouldn't have a problem.

    Best of luck