Proposed changes to the development plan for the contentious Cobaki Lakes subdivision at Tweed Heads would see a reduction in the number of Aboriginal cultural heritage parks, the merging of two school sites into one and allow cats to be kept on the estate.
The town centre would be three hectares larger in size but the total space devoted to housing would be reduced by four hectares, according to the new plans submitted by developer Leda Manorstead.
Heritage parks changed
Although the number of Aboriginal cultural heritage parks will be reduced, the total land area devoted to them will be slightly increased, the report says, with cultural advisors Everick saying the changes are justified based on recent reports on the age and relevance of artefacts collected at the site.
‘When balanced with the significance of Cultural Heritage Park 8, it is Everick’s opinion that the amended proposal will result in a preferable outcome,’ the report says.
‘By maintaining the connectedness of the two Cultural Heritage Parks, the intent of including CHP 9 is also partially maintained,’ it continues.
Cats back in
The report on cats, prepared by JWA Ecological Consultants admits that, ‘Cats have been found to eat more than 186 species of native birds, 64 species of mammals, 87 species of reptiles and 10 species of frogs.’
But it goes on to maintain that there may be sufficient penalties on owners available through council’s own bylaws to minimise the impact on wildlife.
It cites Ballina Shire Council’s construction in 2010 of a domestic cat and dog proof fence along the edge of an urban estate to protect fauna in an adjoining nature reserve
The report also considers enforcing cat curfews and/or declaration of cat management and prohibited areas, educational programs, enforced desexing, microchipping, the use of cat yards and even ‘collars with bells’.
But in its final conclusion it focuses on community education, cat management regulations and control of strays.
It states that, ‘the keeping of cats within residential developments can be achieved with minimal impact to native wildlife by the implementation of appropriate community education (outlining the precautionary approach underlying cat controls), applying cat management regulations and implementing active control of stray cats when necessary.’
Leda says the increase the size of the neighbourhood centre by approximately three hectares would allow for a registered club and a child care centre to be co-located.
A spokesperson for the Department of Planning and Environment said the local community always has an opportunity to share their views.
Community consultation is an integral part of the planning process and the applicant will have to respond to the feedback we receive,’ the spokesperson said.
‘This feedback is taken into consideration when we develop our recommendations.
‘It’s easy to participate by going online and we encourage everyone to take a look and have their say.’
To make a submission or view the modification request visit www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au.
Submissions can be made from Thursday, 16 June until Wednesday, June 29