The light rail project will see 780 trees uprooted

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City of Sydney Labor councillor Linda Scott has raised concerns over the clearing of 780 trees as part of the CBD and South East Light Rail project.

The new tracks will also eliminate around 900 parking spaces between the City and Randwick.

“One of my main concerns is the removal of 780 trees along the route which include some of those beautiful huge trees in Moore Park,” Ms Scott said.

“There must be a way that we can avoid cutting down that many trees.”

NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said there are plans to replace the trees.

“Where the loss of trees is unavoidable, for significant trees Transport for NSW has committed to planting eight trees for every one tree lost within the local area,” she said.

But Greens councillor Irene Doutney doubts the viability of the tree replacement plan.

“The EIS [Environmental Impact Statement] promises to replace each lost tree with eight new ones, I…doubt that there is the space for such a large replacement number of trees,” said Ms Doutney.

In a letter distributed to local residents, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City would minimise the amount of trees removed along the Surry Hills-Devonshire St route.

“The EIS reports a ‘worst-case’ removal of up to 140 trees along the Surry Hills route,” she wrote.

“The City will work actively to retain as many trees as possible and ensure new trees are planted for any that are removed.”

Ms Scott said a community proposal for an alternative route beneath Foveaux St should be considered.

“I think that we need to see very clear reasons why that’s been rejected,” she said.