Strong community sentiment opposing cutting down 11 trees to make way for a mall in Anson Street is set to delay a council decision on the proposal.
About 50 people attended a public forum at council on Tuesday night to hear plans to cut down the nine plane and two white cedar trees.
Council was due to debate the removal next Tuesday night however council spoksman Nick Redmond said that might change.
Council too were also left in no doubt about the strength of community feeling about keeping the treesNick Redmond, Orange City Council
"We're clearly going to have to take some time to consider the options, before we can take a report to council to consider plans for the street," he said.
Mr Redmond, the acting director of Corporate Service, said residents at the forum had made their views clear.
"While residents went away with a better understanding of the current impact of the trees on drainage and footpaths, council too were also left in no doubt about the strength of community feeling about keeping the trees," he said.
CEO David Waddell told the last council meeting a staff report on the trees and the mall would be brought to the next meeting.
He said seeking public consultation process had been a "testing of the waters."
Saving the Anson Street trees will effectively double the cost of building a mall.
A separate Orange City Council statement said the mall project, would cost about $1.5 million.
However, the cost of other plans, which would involve saving the trees would add $1-1.5 million to the plan.
Orange mayor Cr Reg Kidd said he expected when the report came to the council it would include options.
Cr Kidd said he expected there would be councillors for and against the tree removal.
"I agree with keeping the trees but I also know we have got to have solutions for the damage they are causing," he said.
Council has said the trees presented trip-hazards and shop flooding issues.
Cr Kidd said the plans for the mall, which will take up a 40-metre section roughly around the current pedestrian crossing of the street between Kite and Summer streets sits, included green features.
A 'save-the-trees' rally was held last Friday in Anson Street. More than 80 people, including sustainability expert Michael Mobbs, demanded council make assurances that the trees will not be felled, irrespective of whether the mall goes ahead.
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