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Presentation to Council: Douglas Brown Nov 26 2019

Submission to Ordinary Meeting of Eurobodalla Shire Council on the 26 November 2019 regarding DA593/19 – 3 lot subdivision at 13A Sunshine Bay Road, Sunshine Bay, Lot 9 DP 774356. Applicant: Eurobodalla Shire Council Land: Lot 9 DP 774356, 13A Sunshine Bay Road, Sunshine Bay Area: Proposed Lot 1 – 627m2 Proposed Lot 2 – 665m2 Proposed Lot 3 – 1120m2 (Public Reserve)

Above: The image shown to Council and the public - below the land with satelite terrain image underneath - note cleared section to remain and treed section to be cleared for two land parcels.


Above: The existing reserve plays a role in a wildlife corridor

Good morning mayor and councilors, and thank you for allowing me to speak today.

Lot 9 is currently a bushland reserve mostly covered with mature spotted gum forest. The proposed subdivision will shrink it by 54%, subdividing off two small lots, one of which has a “battle axe” shape. To enable development of homes and driveways on the proposed lots 1 and 2, essentially all the trees on those lots will need to be removed as they are small lots and the battle axe will need to be cleared for a driveway. On the remaining reserve, most the native trees have already been removed, so once development is complete, there will be very few native trees remaining on the 3 proposed lots.

I am strongly opposed to the proposed subdivision for four reasons.

1. Environmental

The lot in question forms the northern end of wildlife corridor that extends 1.2 km south to White Stone Park. The lot is currently wide enough to form some wildlife habitat, and while I am no wildlife biologist, I see it is frequented by tawny frogmouth owls, blue tongued lizards, lorikeets, galahs, rosellas, cockatoos, bower birds, kookaburras, and wattle birds, to name but a few.

2. Recreational

The aforementioned corridor is also the only off-pavement walking route in the entire community – it comprises approximately 3% of the community’s land (see included map). Any other pockets of public bushland in the community are typically impenetrable bush surrounding wetlands. Consequently the corridor is heavily used by local residents – walking, biking, and exercising their pets. While the proposed subdivision does provide for public access from Sunshine Bay Road to John Oxley Crescent, it is as narrow as 5 m, will be mostly treeless, and be sandwiched between residential back fences – it will no longer be a nature walk.

Preserving this walking track, from nearly one end of the community to the other, in as close to its native state as possible, will provide priceless benefits to the community forever.

3. Green Space

Bushland is known to provide many benefits to a community – from pleasing aesthetics to wildlife habitat, to climate moderation, to run off reduction – but there is relatively little protected green space in Sunshine Bay, and the amount of unprotected green areas are shrinking every year. A large block of native forest has recently been felled in the south of the community associated with the new residential housing development. The currently undeveloped block of land at Sunshine Bay Road and Canning Crescent has recently sold and has an existing DA for a shopping centre. The large blocks of land on either side of the west end of Sunshine Bay Road are zoned R2 or R3 and are subject to development. Several large blocks west of George Bass Highway have recently been cleared in preparation for development.

4. Community Wishes

Council’s own guidelines require ensuring “development is sustainable, and reflects community values and the desired local setting”.

The lot in question has been until recently reserved as a community space, and part of the central Sunshine Bay reserve corridor for the nearly 30 years. All community residents I have canvassed have long believed it to be reserve, and wish it to be left as reserve, and I understand submissions to council on this proposed subdivision have been 8-to-1 in opposition. There can be no doubt that council’s guidelines require this lot to be left as reserve.

Summary

Lot 9, in its current state, provides a small but important bit of bushland linking White Stone Park in the south and Short Beach Creek in the north.

Bushland in Sunshine Bay is a scarce and valuable resource and I believe the lot in question would serve the community much better if it were left as bushland.

I urge you to not proceed with the proposed subdivision of lot 9.

Thank you,

Douglas Brown

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