King George V Av handed to Council leaving locals sceptical heritage listing will remain
The transfer of five Crown Road Reserves which adjoin to Tamworth's oak tree-lined King George V Av has been officially requested after a vote at the council meeting on Tuesday 13th October.
A report tabled at the meeting listed ways the Crown Reserves could be used as recreational space in the future.
Local residents advocating for the heritage-listed site say this is a guise for what they believe is pressure from housing developers who want a new road built from Tamworth's CBD to the growing suburb of Calala.
"There has been a history of developers attempting to knock down the trees on King George Av," said Mr David McKinnon, local resident and VP of the Tamworth Rate Payers Association.
Push back against the Council's acquisition of this land had been anticipated given the long history of the area.
The business paper presented to Councillor's on Tuesday evening stated "This option will possibly cause community concern that Council intends to provide road access from Calala to the central business district (CBD) along King George V Avenue and will require further communication once the Calala Lane Corridor Strategy has been finalised.
Mr McKinnon said he has been fighting this issue for years and 17,000 local residents signed a petition to ensure King George V Ave remains heritage listed.
"I do not have confidence the Council is thinking for the future," Mr McKinnon said, "We have to remember Councillors are come and go, staff are come and go and over a period of time the developers could get their way."
"The heritage listing was made by the people, not by the Council," Mr McKinnon said, "So by that account, it's not a huge investment for them."
Tamworth Mayor Col Murray said the decision will ensure flexibility for future considerations when planning active transport options such as cycleways, walking trails and other recreational pursuits.
Mayor Murray also said the move is not aimed at undermining efforts to protect and care for the heritage-listed English Oakes.