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Byron Shire
April 20, 2021

Tree poisoning investigation at site of controversial Brunswick Heads development

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Paul Bibby

Byron Council is investigating a possible tree poisoning on the site of a proposed development in Brunswick Heads.

Last week, residents living next door to 16 Short Street noticed that each of the three hoop pines on the property had large gouge marks around the base of their trunks.

The leaves and branches at the top of one of the trees have also begun to die.

Part of the development proposed for Short Street, Brunswick Heads. Image from DA.

Specialist Council staff attended the property last Thursday after being alerted to the issue by a neighbour. In a statement to The Echo, a Council spokesperson confirmed that staff were investigating the matter.

DA for two large, double-storey houses

The property in question is subject to a development application to build two large, double-storey houses each with five bedrooms and five bathrooms.

A significant number of Brunswick Heads residents oppose the proposal on the grounds that it represent an overdevelopment of the site.

They also fear that the developer will use the properties for holiday accommodation or a boarding-house-style development.

The owner of the property, Melbourne developer Sasha Hopkins, has denied this, stating that one of the houses is intended for his mother to live in, while the other will be sold as a ‘family home’.

The Echo understands that at least 60 objections have been registered in relation to the plans.

The three pine trees are understood to be at least 60 years old, having been planted by a returned soldier who lived their after the second world war.

They are in close proximity to the northern boundary of the second of the two proposed houses. 

Hopkins has been contacted for comment. The Echo does not suggest that Hopkins is connected to the alleged tree poisoning.

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  1. Dear Mr. Hopkins, the issues, being that your proposal at the moment fails to comply on many fronts and that it is out of step with our community is one thing. It may also be true that you and your families have no intentions to let on a grand scale but this is being very short sited. You have no control of your families future needs for monetary returns or their future circumstances. Also, if you’re homes are built with 5 bedrooms and five baths each, you and yours when those properties are sold, will have zero control over what new owners down the line may saddle its Brunswick Heads neighbours with. Your buildings could house 20 adults …… at least 16 vehicles on the streets, 20 folks waste, say 12 bins…and on it goes. Have you factored all this in? It does not appear so. If developers such as your self were to think of the consequences and have empathy for a community they and family are moving to, these issues should have been taken into account well before one even considered investing in the land don’t you think? Regards, Dave


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