A proposal to build a five-storey retirement village on church land in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak has been put on hold so the local council can get more information on a 'significant' tree on the site, reports the Stonnington Leader.
The application from St Peter's Church in Toorak to build 38 independent living units, 117 car spaces and a new parish centre at the site has been deferred until March 3 so the council could get further advice on the impact and health of the Atlantic cedar tree and to get further heritage advice on the proposed demolition of the parish house.
Council officers had recommended a notice of decision to grant a planning permit be issued. The application proposed to remove the tree, which is classified as 'significant' under the council's local law, as it was said to be impacting on the church.
The council's arborist originally objected to the tree's removal because it was seen to be healthy and mature, but then 'reluctantly' supported the removal. 'I do not doubt that the tree is impacting on the (church), however whether the impact is continuing to occur or has (stabilised) I am unsure,' the arborist said in the report.
Stonnington Cr Matthew Koce tabled a petition at the meeting with about 892 signatures which called on the council to keep St Peters Toorak Tennis Club, which would be demolished under the proposal.
FULL STORY 'Significant' tree puts Church retirement village plans on hold (Stonnington Leader)