The developer of the Tallowood housing estate in Mullumbimby has offered to reduce the size of the lots in a further stage of the project in a bid to protect the ridge line overlooking the estate which locals want to be left forested.
One of the estate’s developers, Eric Freeman, told Echonetdaily he met with Byron Shire Council staff on Friday offering a revised plan that ‘considerably reduces the size of the three lots proposed in Stage 3C and places the parts of the land in stage 3C that are forested to now be incorporated into the Shelter Belt along the ridge line.’
The amendment comes after residents voiced concerns about new blocks that had been released for sale on the ridge line. They feared the area, which is known as a wildlife corridor, would be reduced in size owing to the block sizes being proposed.
Adding to residents’ concerns is a NSW bill aimed at reducing fire hazards. It sparked fears of habitat loss with large-scale clearing near homes in the Sydney suburb of Hornsby, among others.
Minister Brad Hazzard’s comment on the Rural Fires Amendment (Vegetation Clearing) Bill 2014 at the time was ‘people before trees is the priority.’
Meanwhile, Mr Freeman said that ‘Council officers present at the meeting welcomed the amendment, as it removes the issue of “potential damage to trees on the ridgeline”.
‘Council will now consider the new plan in detail and will refer the proposed design to the NSW Rural Fire Service. Once the comments of Rural Fire Service are received, a final determination will be made,’ he said.
Mr Freeman added the new blocks will be ‘pegged as soon as possible in the coming week by our surveyor.’
‘Council officers will visit the site after survey to review the new, smaller lots and the house locations and they will then meet with interested residents to discuss how the forested areas of Stage 3C area are now protected as a result of Tallowood Ridge proposing that the shelter belt be widened in two areas to include the forested land,’ he said.
‘Under the Rural Fire Service “10/50 code” property owners are only able to remove trees standing on their land and cannot use the 10:50 Code to remove trees in public open space.’