Threat to parrot habitat may prove a hurdle for new northern subdivision

COUNCILLORS will consider whether to approve north Orange’s last major subdivision on Tuesday night.

The development, at 74 Beer Road, will unlock 114 lots zoned R1 general residential, and three public reserve lots.

The residential lots will range from 598 to 1160 square metres.

Of the 21-hectare site, almost three hectares have been set aside for drainage and more than four hectares for open space.

The subdivision will connect to previously-approved subdivisions to the south, but land has also been reserved for future alternate access to Beer Road.

Most lots will have direct road frontage, however, several will be arranged in a battleaxe layout with driveway access.

Council staff raised concerns about the site’s box gum grassy woodland habitat due to possible habitat loss for threatened species.

About 30 per cent of the endangered ecological community is set to be lost, however, the rest has been set aside as open space.

THREE DAYS AGO: SOUTHERN BLOCK ON NEW SUBDIVISION

In its initial flora and fauna report, the applicant said there would be no significant losses, however, later amended its application to include replacement of lost habitat on a like-for-like basis.

“Providing plantings in this way will tend to minimise the harm to be done as a result of the clearing needed to be done to allow the future residential development of the site,” the staff report to councillors said.

The Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) wrote the sole public submission, requesting improved connections between the open space and box gum woodland to the north, as well as retaining felled trees as logs on site. The applicant has included both requests in amended plans.

ECCO president Nick King said he had not seen the adjusted plans, but any alterations in line with the group’s suggestions were welcome.

“[The proposal] was pretty good to start with. It showed a fairly enlightened approach, which is not typical of the rest of the [North Orange] subdivision,” he said.

Mr King said ECCO’s main concern was the superb parrot, which is threatened due to habitat loss.

Council staff have recommended approval, however, councillors will vote on the matter on Tuesday night.

danielle.cetinski@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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