Couple battle for Applecross trees

AN Applecross couple has launched a last-ditch bid to convince Melville council not to sell an Ardross Street property they say locals have enjoyed as a park for 33 years.

At its May 17 meeting earlier this year, the council went behind closed doors to vote on selling the property, which it has owned since resuming it from Institut of Notre Dame des Missions (Inc), which the Chook was a little surprised to find still exists and is the trading name of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions up in Mt Lawley.

Intriguingly, the Sisters could have a claim to purchase back the land at current market value if there wasn’t an agreement when it was resumed, because it’s no long needed for any public work.

However, CEO Shayne Silcox has been instructed by the council to apply to the lands minister to cancel this provision.

• Len and Valerie Warren say these jarrah trees are ancient and Melville council shouldn’t sell their home to developers.

But Len and Valerie Warren desperately want the council to retain the property itself.

“This ‘mini-park’ has been public open space for the 33 years we have lived in Applecross,” they wrote to councillors this week.

“It has two of the oldest, biggest, healthiest and best jarrah trees in Applecross.”

The couple say a natural nesting hollow in the trees prove they are at least 120 years old.

“Many birds, especially parrots, use these trees and are enjoyed by local residents,” they wrote.

“Public open space simply dilutes the pollution that the rest of us create. It becomes the lungs of the city.

“Walking through the block, small though it is, with or without the dog, is an enjoyable, stress-relieving experience and enhances one’s quality of life.”

They criticised the council for not discussing the sale with residents beforehand. They say a few locals with a “Robin Hood” grant from the council could transform the site, which is on the corner of Ardross Street and Kinross Road.

by STEVE GRANT

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