Adelaide Oval has lost a little more of its old character after a row of 27 century-old cedars was cut down.

The trees lined the path along the northern edge of the ground and were planted in 1907.

The City Council voted to keep the cedars at a meeting at the end of July last year.

The State Government successfully challenged that decision after an appeal to the Development Assessment Commission (DAC).

Workers used chainsaws and diggers to remove the trees on Friday morning behind fencing put up for the redevelopment of the eastern side of the ground.

City councillor Anne Moran says she wants a judicial review into the decision to allow the work to go ahead.

"DAC clearly should not be the arbitrator between the council and the Government. It's not a judiciary body, it's just a planning body," she said.

She says she was under the impression the Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood was going to talk to Urban Development Minister Patrick Conlon about saving the trees.

"These trees were totally protected in the community land management plan for this area which was signed off by the Government after the plans had come up about the Oval, not before that," she said.

"They're saying now some of the trees were dead and dying. Not all of them were and really look at any street tree, any tree you can say that about it.

"Blind Freddie can see that it's to cram more cars into the car park."

Ms Moran also questioned the timing of the work.

"They've chopped these trees down on the hottest morning possibly of the year when they know nobody will see it," she said.

"They had permission to take these trees town but there were further negotiations mooted and I think it's really unfair that they've done that."

'Complete nonsense'

Mr Conlon admits the trees were not posing a hazard but says they were pulled out on the advice of the council's own arborists.

"What we are doing with these trees is in the best interests of the parklands," he said.

"We were advised that 19 of those trees will die in the next few years, to ten years, in any event regardless of what we do.

"Most of them have lived longer than the average life expectancy of a white cedar."

Mr Conlon says the decision was not simply about car parking.

"People have been parking in the parklands for years," he said.

"The landscapers wanted to move the path because they believe it should be in a better place for people to get access to the Oval."

Mr Conlon says he has had several discussion with the Lord Mayor about the Government's plans.

He says there was nothing underhanded about the process of appealing to the Development Assessment Commission to overrule the council's decision.

"What it does is apply the law that was made in the Legislative Council by amendment," he said.

"The notion that now, without discussion, that we've gone in and got the decision, have swooped and taken out the trees is a complete nonsense.

"We could have done this months ago with an application but we didn't because we were asked to defer it.

"We deferred it twice. It has to come to an end some time and, like I said, if we were still talking in a year's time some of the trees would have died anyway.

"We are going to plant more trees and better trees."

Oval facelift

The trees were ripped out as part of the $535 million redevelopment of the Oval and its surrounds.

Before its defacement, Adelaide Oval was widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world.

The old western grandstand with red roofs and distinctive turrets was demolished in 2009.

The Bradman Stand, built in 1990, and the Chappell Stands, less than ten years old, were both pulled down last year.

 

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