Byron Shire Council’s community enforcement team are visiting the site of the the Mercato development in Jonson Street, Byron Bay, after a tip-off to Echonetdaily that two paperbark trees may be being unlawfully removed.
At least one of two large old paperbark trees of at the development site has been removed this morning.
Echo reader David Morris said he heard the sound of chainsaws starting up about 7am and went to check out the site.
‘There are two on the street side, near the pavement,’ he said.
‘I was there before 8am and they’d cut down one nearest to one of the driveways, near the entrance.
‘Another beautiful mature-age paperbark looks like it could be for the chop but I’m not sure.’
Mr Morris said contractors were now mulching the remains of the old tree.
‘I put in a couple of protest letters about it [at the time of the DA application] and a few people, including myself were concerned that they would be removed.
‘I hope the beautiful silver trunk eucalypts in front of the Woollies store are not for the chop.
‘People say other places are worse but with the pace of development in Byron Bay at the moment, I wonder how that can be.
Byron Shire Council’s community enforcement team leader, Andrew Hill, said he was currently investigating the allegation that trees had been unlawfully removed near the Mercato site.
However, Mr Hill cautioned that the approved development applications for the site does include tree removal.
‘Once we have been to the site and checked against the approvals, we will know more,’ he said.