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Coogee Residents Left Bare

By Nicola Smith on July 2, 2021 in News

Havelock Avenue before council intervention. Photo: Roland Flesch

Coogee residents are reporting an influx of noise and dust into their apartment complexes after Randwick Council removed a stretch of trees along Havelock Avenue without community consultation.

Around 17 metres of trees and shrubs formed a noise and privacy barrier between apartments on either side of Havelock avenue in Coogee until they were removed last month.

The particular stretch of Havelock avenue has no residential addresses and acts as a thoroughfare for busses travelling from Coogee beach.

Berwick street resident, Roland Flesch said that the greenery improved the quality of life for the residents of his apartment block.

“They came in and cut it all down with absolutely no notification of residents and now we’ve got the busses roaring through keeping us up at night and dust coming into our apartments where it never used to before because there was a lush screen of trees,” Mr Flesch told The Beast.

A representative from Randwick Council said that the vegetation was removed for the safety of bus drivers.

“We received a request from the Rail, Tram and Bus Union to remove vegetation along Havelock Avenue, to the east and west of the Brook Street overpass, as it was a safety issue that forced buses to drive on the opposite of the road to avoid branches and foliage,” the representative told The Beast.

The aftermath of council clearing. Photo: Roland Flesch

However, residents are upset at the extent of the removal, the mess left behind by council workers and the inadequate replacement of plants.

“They’ve put a couple of knee-high plants in this now desolate area, compared with the verdant, lush CO2 reducing small forest like section that was here previously,” Mr Flesch said.

Residents are also questioning why the council provided no notice of the removal, which has now left apartment blocks on either side of the overpass with views directly into each other’s windows.

The Randwick Council spokesperson said told The Beast that they intend to plant more natives to recreate the green barrier.

“The vegetation that was removed consisted of opportunistic species including figs, bamboo and other weeds. We have replanted the area with natives and will undertake further planting to provide a visual and noise barrier for residents,” the spokesperson told The Beast.