Blue Mountains News

Concerns about Scale of Development of Flora and Fauna Park at Wentworth Falls

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 13 Jul 2020
Councillor Romola Hollywood, Mayor Mark Greenhill, Deputy Mayor Chris Van der Kley and Councillor Brent Hoare.
Blue Mountains City Council is concerned about the scope of development plans for 10 Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls – a Flora and Fauna Park.

An ongoing investigation is underway by Council’s compliance team regarding an alleged unauthorised clearing at 10 Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls.

As part of that process, Council received notification from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) that they had recently held a scoping meeting with the landowner regarding a prospective State Significant Development (SSD) proposal.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “It is understood the proposal for a wildlife park and tourist development is of a scale that is larger than previously approved for the site.

“Council staff hold concerns regarding a SSD process for this sensitive site as Council’s role is reduced to being able to make a submission, only. The local controls applied via our Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan also have reduced statutory weight in this process,” Mayor Greenhill said.

Blue Mountains City Council is seeking regulatory reform of the NSW planning system, regarding the delayed implementation of development consents.

Current NSW planning legislation permits “zombie” development applications to proceed without an obligation to review against contemporary planning and environmental standards, or the views of the present community.

“Where there are undue delays in development, in this case some 30 years, development should be required to adhere to present planning standards and the community’s expectation for sustainable development,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“Everything else is unacceptable, particularly in our World Heritage listed Blue Mountains.”

This follows the introduction of the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code onto councils across NSW, including the Blue Mountains, on 1 July.

Blue Mountains City Council has opposed the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code since its proposed introduction in April 2018, and been unable to achieve an exemption.

The code poses an unacceptable risk to the environmental values of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area as it allows for a substantial intensification of residential development, resulting in significant increases to storm water run-off into the fragile environment.

Council continues to lobby the NSW Planning Minister to revoke the decision.

 
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