Why were trees on sidewalk removed?

Felled trees, which have been marked with a whit cross and bouquet.

Lindsay John Curran, Somerset Business Park

The Somerset Business Park homeowners association is busy, without any consultation, removing mature Cape Karee trees within the business park.

These trees are on the pavements which are council property and should therefore not allowed to be removed.

It concerns many of the property owners that the beautification of the business park is in the constitution of the home owners’ association but is not being adhered to by the committee.

Marnus du Plessis of PropConnect responds on behalf of the Somerset Business Park homeowners association:

I wish to provide the facts upon which the decision (to remove the trees) was taken as same was not taken lightly by the representatives of the association, and with careful consideration and thought.

The municipality has been approached to assist with the maintenance and pruning of the trees as they are situated on the sidewalk directly on a stop street intersection.

The association, in conjunction with the municipality, has been running a project to improve the park to ensure the safety of specifically the general workers, of which there are hundreds walking into the park on a daily basis to get to their workplaces, by maintaining the green areas at the park’s cost.

Even though this is municipal property we have engaged with them to see to this upgrade of the area at the cost of the business owners, even though they are paying rates as well.

The pictures provided, show that the trees in question blocked any manner of walking along the sidewalk for these workers, thereby forcing them to enter oncoming traffic and walk in the road.

This has led to numerous incidents where vehicles have almost run over pedestrians and had very close calls.

Despite no maintenance and trimming from the municipality’s side, large trucks have also collided with the trees as they overhang and grow the stop area thereby causing damage to not only the trucks but also to the trees.

In light of the above facts, the owners’ association acted in the best interest of the workers and members by removing the trees thereby eliminating the safety risk.

Further to this, we have already engaged with the municipality and have discussed the planting of alternative trees within the park with their input and approval, so as to ensure the association contributes to the green aesthetics of the park.