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May 18, 2022

Ocean Shores DA threat to biodiversity, say residents

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The proposed subdivision and development of this black in North Ocean Shores would create ‘Gold-Coast-style overdevelopment’, say residents.

A proposal (DA 10.2021.705.1to subdivide one lot (2,097m2) into three lots, and build two dwellings and three secondary dwellings, in densly forested riparian land in North Ocean Shores would create ‘Gold-Coast-style overdevelopment’, say residents.

One of the residents who contacted The Echo, Catherine Lane, said that their homes are adjacent to the Billinudgel Nature Reserve, which is ‘the last significant stretch of bush left on the coast, between here and the border. It is home to 170 species of fauna, (mostly birds), many are vulnerable and endangered’.

According to the plans submitted by Howard Porter, the build will require the removal of eight trees, or the clearing of 300m2 of land.

While the Statement of Environmental Effects report claims the land does not contain biodiverse vegetation, or high environmental value vegetation, Ms Lane is not convinced.  

‘When the Tread Lightly Estate in Hardy Avenue on Capricornia Canal was developed years ago, (knowingly on the flood plain and adjacent to the Billinudgel Nature Reserve), a riparian buffer was established as a wildlife corridor. 

‘Still in place today, it extends beyond the waterline and along the western edge of the watercourse. Landholders have always been under strict instructions to maintain existing vegetation in the zone. Domestic pets were excluded; human access to the water was not prioritised’. 

She says, apart from the loss of trees, the proposal is ‘inordinate with current residential density’, is a ‘visual affront’, has ‘serious parking issues, [threatens] noise pollution’, and has the ‘potential for holiday letting’.

Yet the developer, Howard Porter told The Echo, ‘The proposal before Council is compliant with the Byron Shire Council LEP, with densities well below the LEP maximums’. 

The Echo asked how the traffic would be managed with five dwellings, as it appeared ‘there was only enough car spaces for the two primary dwellings, but none allocated for the secondary dwellings’. 

Mr Porter said, ‘With easy walking distance to Ocean Shores Primary School and a cycle to the beach, the site is well suited to support three multi-generational families within both the spirit and intent of the LEP in the Byron Shire’. 

LEP compliant

‘Parking is as directed by the LEP. 

‘A key element of the proposal involves the removal of non-native, invasive species such as bamboo and a 10-1 planting of native species for any tree removed’.

When asked if there were plans to offer this as affordable housing, he replied, ‘I have three children, and my family has been in the Shire for over 20 years. As to which of the granny flats I end up in is yet to be determined, as my children seem inordinately single. Prospective in-laws are welcome to apply and change that situation, I had not considered arranged marriage, or advertising as an option previously, but your unexpected email with this kind offer of free copy seems timely’.

Ms Lane added, ‘While the developer will profit from the work of residents who have preserved the integrity of the landscape, they in turn will lose environmental and economic value in something they have worked to protect’. 

‘This DA mocks the intention of the Tread Lightly Estate. If allowed, this Gold-Coast-style overdevelopment will put extreme pressure on an important natural space and its biodiversity. It should not be allowed’.

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