THE Joni Mitchell song talks about paving paradise to put up a parking lot, but on Warrnambool’s northern fringe it’s a “children’s wonderland” of trees that are being torn down to make way for a new road.
Two rows of cypress trees along Mortlake Road, on the boundary of a new housing estate, are being removed to make way for a new service road.
But Warrnambool father Dean Fleming says the trees are a wonderland for children in the area.
“There are lots of young families around here and the kids love playing in the trees, building cubby houses and having nerf gun wars,” he said.
“Kids have been playing in them for 40 years and now they are taking away what I would say are the best climbing trees in Warrnambool.
“They took away the old BMX track that was out here and now they’re taking away the trees as well.
“It’s like they are encouraging us to put our kids in front of an iPad rather than being outside.”
Mr Fleming said he had called the Warrnambool City Council to complain and said he believed one row of trees could be left standing and there would still be room for the service road.
Warrnambool City’s director of city infrastructure Peter Robertson said while the service road required the removal of the “inner row” of trees, an arborist recommended removing the “outer row” at the same time.
“The arborists advice was the outer row would deteriorate quickly if left standing,” he said.
“Were only the “inner row” trees removed, future removal of the “outer row” could cause damage to infrastructure.
“The trees will be replaced with a species more suited to the location.”