TROPICAL plants that a developer has proposed for landscaping a Lake Macquarie resort have created a stir among locals and boffins.
A council design panel and a residents’ group believe endemic species should be used to landscape the $388-million Trinity Point marina resort.
The Johnson Property Group’s landscape plan includes plants such as frangipani, bird of paradise, pygmy date palms and dragon trees.
Natives in the plan include casuarinas, grevilleas and cabbage tree palms.
The landscape plan said the planting scheme was based on ‘‘endemic native species to harmonise with the local landscape character’’.
Morisset Park and District Action Group president Tom Dumbrell said it was ‘‘nonsense to assert that the planting scheme is based on endemic species’’.
‘‘The use of exotic and non-local trees to create a ‘tropical ambience’ will be a visual insult to the southern Lake Macquarie region,’’ he said.
Johnson Property Group development director Bryan Garland said people should keep in mind that ‘‘it is a resort-themed development attracting tourists’’.
Lake Macquarie City Council’s design review panel said it considers ‘‘that tropical planting is not appropriate for this site’’.
‘‘The panel remains of the view that the landscape scheme should be reflective of local landscape character,’’ a panel statement said.
Mr Garland said the property group would ‘‘work with council, but we’ll select trees and landscaping that reflects what the resort will be about’’.
He said the council had ‘‘a set of landscape species that are endemic to the local area’’ and some of those would be chosen.
‘‘We’ll put endemic species in there, but we’ll work to comply with council guidelines and deliver a resort development that includes some tropical plants,’’ he said.
Mr Dumbrell said locally endemic vegetation comprised particular species of casuarina and eucalyptus, along with smooth-barked apple.
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