The popular tourist town of Brunswick Heads is set to get bigger, with a plan to develop land just south of the village for more than 80 house lots.
Last week a development application (DA) to subdivide land at 35 Bayside Drive into 34 lots and a second-stage concept plan to add 50 lots was placed on public exhibition, with submissions closing next Wednesday (27 January).
The 6.64 hectare block of land in the urban enclave of Bayside about 2.5 kilometres south of the town is owned by longtime Brunswick Valley locals John and Gloria Mills. Their existing home on the block is proposed to be retained and become part of the subdivision, known as ‘Mills Estate’.
A wholesale nursery still operates on the land which is bounded on the east by Simpsons Creek.
Project consultant Stephen Connelly told Byron Shire Council planners in his DA that his clients were also hoping the state government would rezone currently environmentally-protected land on the eastern part of the site for more housing there at a future stage.
The Mills family, according to Mr Connelly, has been in the shire since the early 1960s and established the nearby ‘Village Green’ fruit and vegetable shop, which still operates under different owners, and the family also previously owned other parcels of land around Bayside.
In his report on environmental impacts, Mr Connelly said the land had no major impediments for rezoning, such as soil contamination due to the operations of the nursery, or historic use of the land just to the north of the subdivision site (the existing Brunswick Heads playing fields), a former landfill site which he described as ‘unhealthy building land’.
‘Limited information is available regarding the volume, content and period of use of the landfill that comprises the “unhealthy building land”,’ Mr Connelly said.
‘Anecdotal information provided by the Mills family suggests that the area was used for deposition of waste only, rather than night soil,’ he said.
‘No information has been made available (from Council or other sources) as to whether the waste comprised putrescible or non-putrescible waste.’
He said the ‘only potentially active pathway to receptors from the “unhealthy building land” is the soil gas pathway’.
Mr Connelly said the gases, mostly methane and carbon dioxide, ‘pose a threat to receptors via explosion or asphyxiation’ but that ‘initial screening using a landfill gas meter did not indicate the occurrence of methane or carbon dioxide at levels that warranted further investigation’.
He said the proposed development was unlikely to impact on local wildlife in and around the site as no habitat was planned to be removed, and proposed mitigation measures would ‘lead to long term improvements in site biodiversity’.
‘These include bushland restoration along the drainage areas and along the Simpsons Creek frontage, plantings of scribbly gum in the east of the site and substantial landscaping using locally-sourced native species.’
Mr Connelly said a mammal survey recorded no koala scats and scratches.
‘Koala visitation site, should it occur, would be transitory due to the small number of koala food trees present,’ he said.
Koala food trees, he said, would be largely retained and scribbly gums also planted.