And while locals accept that it has been zoned thus, they have a number of concerns that they will bring to the Land and Environment Court hearing for the first 31 lots of the 240 lot Tallowood Estate subdivision.
Chief among the concerns is what they claim to be the lack of disclosure about the size of the entire subdivision and lack of a master plan, with locals expressing dismay that stage one blocks have already been sold before any DA has been passed, and stage two now being sold without a DA even being lodged.
“We hope that the upcoming court case will encourage some level of disclosure,” said Brendan Healey from the Mullumbimby Creek Progress Association, “besides the responsible community consultation that the progress association has always asked for.”
Local engineer Chris Abraham wonders how Mullumbimby will cope with another 1000 residents when current infrastructure is already under strain, and who will be paying for the major road upgrades that the increased traffic movements will demand.
“The current road system, which includes the busy Left Bank Road intersection and the unsealed Clays Road with a one-lane bridge, will not be able to cope with another 2200 traffic movements per day associated with just the proposed first 240 homes,” he said.
And local bush regenerator Dave Rawlins is particularly concerned about the environmental impact on the land, home to threatened fauna such as koalas and glossy black cockatoos, and also to threatened plants, one of which, the spiny gardenia, is only known to be found on 12 private properties in the entire shire.
“There is no mention of how to conserve this plant in the DA and it has already been impacted by the damage caused from the hectares of camphor that got bulldozed and burnt last year,” he said.
“The subdivision site is also part of an important local upland wildlife corridor, over six kilometres in length – the high biodiversity values of the area must be assessed and taken into consideration or we will see the local extinction of these threatened species.”
Another concern comes from professional horticulturalist Diane Hart from Chincogan View Estate, dismayed that Tallowood is planning to have large areas cut to a depth of two metres, just as happened in Chincogan View, thus depriving residents of topsoil and the ability to grow a garden without trucking in masses of soil
“My neighbours and I have had to install sub-soil drainage around their homes as our land becomes totally waterlogged in wet periods,” she explained.
“It is now 2010 and current and future residents demand a development that is sustainable and provides good living, rather than maximising profits to the detriment of the community and environment.”
The on-site hearing takes place at the end of Tuckeroo Avenue at 9.30am next Monday and concerned locals are encouraged either to attend or stay informed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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