Requirements for tree and garden coverage in urban developments should be simplified in an effort to prevent the gradual decline of open spaces in urban areas, the Griffith Narrabundah Community Council says.
A draft variation to the Territory Plan, currently open for public comment, needs to be simplified otherwise the ACT government's 30 per cent tree canopy cover target for urban areas will not be met, the council's president, Dr David Denham, said.
It is a view echoed by Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur, who argued in a submission the draft variation was not consistent with the government's target to achieve 30 per cent tree canopy coverage.
Dr Denham said trees had an important role in Canberra's urban areas and needed to be retained and incorporated in new builds.
"The present draft is far too complicated. It comprises a raft of rules that are not mandatory, [and] lots of subjective criteria which takes precedence over most of the rules," Dr Denham said in a statement.
He said a set of simple, mandatory requirements to include trees and permeable space in urban developments would make it easier for the targets to be met.
Ms Le Couteur wrote that the draft variation included a requirement for 15 per cent canopy cover in multi-unit developments in certain zones, which was not adequate in light of the targets.
"If such a low requirement is retained, many residential areas will see canopy cover reduce over time," Ms Le Couteur wrote.