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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

No more hiding behind the hedge

The New Norfolk McDonald's minus its hedge.
A SNEAKY visit to the drive-through at the New Norfolk McDonald's may be a thing of the past following the sudden removal of the old hedge that adorned the corner for decades.

The last remnant of the 19th century house that once stood on the corner of Burnett and George Sts opposite the gates to Willow Court, the hedge was felled last Thursday morning.

Contrary to popular opinion, the hedge was not heritage-listed. The confusion arises from the Derwent Valley Council's decision in 2010 to allow the old house to be demolished but not the hedge on Burnett St and a paling fence on the George St frontage.

A 2011 artist's impression of the New Norfolk McDonald's
including the hedge.
While not having a heritage listing, the hedge was deemed to be a significant part of the streetscape and the council ordered that it not be damaged or removed until a future development application was approved. When the McDonald's development application was approved in 2011, protection of the hedge appears to have lapsed, despite allowances being made on the site boundaries to allow for the hedge.

In the wake of the felling of the hedge, commentators have variously lamented its loss or welcomed the improved access for pedestrians and better sight-lines for traffic. In response, the Derwent Valley Council issued the following statement late last week:

  • "Council is aware that the hedge has been removed."
  • "No, the hedge is not heritage listed."
  • "The hedge has been removed due to it obstructing pedestrian traffic in Burnett and George Streets."
  • "Lopping of the hedge is not an option as it would expose a great deal of dead wood and would not be an attractive planting."
  • "Council has requested the landowner to replace the hedge with suitable plants to the satisfaction of council."

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