In an unusual move a property developer has agreed to lower the lot yield from an area of land off Sapphire Coast Drive, known as Bournda Downs.
Council has agreed to rezone the 37 lot area for a combination of environmental living, E4, environmental management, E3 and rural landscape, RU2 with minimum lot sizes of 2ha and 40ha. The area was previously zoned to allow more than 120 lots.
However Bega Valley resident Doug Reckord was concerned about the effects of development on nearby Wallagoot Lake.
In a presentation to council, Mr Reckord said that Wallagoot Lake was a unique, closed lake that was at high risk of nutrification, a process where lakes and estuaries receive excess nutrients from a variety of sources (primarily agriculture, aquaculture and sewage) setting off a cascade of environmental changes.
“The healthy rivers commission assessed Wallagoot Lake for protection and 20 years on there has been no catchment study to inform council’s decision,” Mr Reckord said.
He was also concerned about the impact on local wildlife corridors and the impact of asset protection zones even on E4 land. But council’s director planning and environment, Andrew Woodley said that the end result was an improvement.
“There has been a great deal of study in this catchment; it is a significant catchment and I am very aware of its significance to our shire,” Mr Woodley said.
He outlined the history of the land saying that originally it was rural residential allowing 5000 metre square blocks which would have made for “a great deal of development”.
“In 2005 the applicant lodged a plan for 147 lots on the site and then withdrawn due to community opposition and the fact that staff were not satisfied.
“In 2010 council exhibited its draft LEP allowing 110-120 lots on that land. The owner made a submission and said he wanted to get a better environmental outcome and that was the basis of 37 lots,” Mr Woodley told council.
He said the issues raised had been thoroughly considered and that was why staff recommended rezoning.
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