Dalmeny: The idea of a development approved 40 years ago with no new scrutiny is absurd

Justin Field, Member of the Legislative Council in the NSW Parliament has posted on social media that, "Sensitive coastal bushland across the South Coast is being targeted by speculative developers and developer friendly councils. Mr Field says "The idea that a rezoning or development approval from 40 years ago, which was never acted on, should now just be given the greenlight with no new scrutiny is absurd.

The times have changed, those communities have changed, and our knowledge of climate change has grown. We need a planning system that can adapt and change to ensure development is appropriate in these sensitive coastal environments.

"Planning Minister Rob Stokes should intervene here. Some of these developments are now just clearly inappropriate. Others should be constrained significantly.

"He should instigate a review to look at these zombie developments and use his planning powers to run a modern ruler over these plans.

"There is just too much to lose if we get this wrong and the argument that there is a 20 or 30 year old approval just fails these communities and future generations.

"Dalmeny is confronting the activation of a 30 year old urban growth plan with council this month approving the sale of 40 hectares of bushland for future residential development. This land adjoins another 60 hectares of already privately owned, residentially zoned, mature bushland - all of it is unburnt and critical refuge and foraging grounds for local birds and animals.

"This sort of thing is happening up and down the coast. That's way I've launched the South Coast Bushland at Risk Map to show the collective impact of these proposals, to help build understanding within the community of what is at risk and to bring together the communities working to protect these areas from unsustainable development.

Mr Field says "As much as 100 hectares of mature bushland is being opened up for residential development at Dalmeny on the South Coast.

"A 1980s urban growth plan has been activated by council with a decision last week to sell a 40 hectare parcel of land zoned residential which will join up with another 60 hectares of already privately owned land.

"If it was all developed, it would almost double the size of this beautiful coastal village.

This has prompted the new Dalmeny Matters group to form - styled off the successful Manyana Matters campaign to protect unburnt bushland in that community." "At risk is hundreds of hectares of forest and bushland, much of it unburnt and critical as refuge for local species and a lot of it home to endangered plants and animals.

The circumstances have changed since the 80s and 90s. We know a lot of the coastal development that has gone on has been a disaster for the environment and led to poorly designed and serviced coastal villages. The fires have also had a massive impact.

When the circumstances change and our knowledge changes - we need to change our thinking and behaviours.

"We need a moratorium on these old and totally inappropriate development plans. We need to protect the forests of Dalmeny, and Manyana and the other coastal villages of the South Coast.

"Thanks to Dalmeny Matters for inviting me down and showing me your magnificent patch of bush. Well worth protecting."

To see more about what is happening to protect Dalmeny search for 'Dalmeny Matters' on facebook.