Relief as housing lots removed from recreation land

SHIRALEE residents and environmental lobbyists are happy a row of houses has been removed from a subdivision approved on Tuesday night, but remain concerned about the future open space set aside for the estate. 

Orange City Council approved a 24-lot subdivision in Lysterfield Road, the second stage of the development.

However presentations from the public revealed it was originally going to be a larger proposal. 

Garry and Lesley Smith, whose property is bounded on three sides by the land, have long opposed the subdivision, particularly a row of compact lots earmarked for their western boundary.

The lots intrude partially into land zoned for public recreation.

Mrs Smith questioned what would happen to two dams on the site.

“The current boundary, between the subject property and the council-owned land, bisects both of these dams,” she said.

She referred to a staff report from 2014, which stated preliminary calculations suggested all of the land zoned for public recreation would be required, but the Smiths’ freedom of information request for the report containing the calculations did not contain such a report because none existed. 

“Since rezoning of Shiralee was first proposed, we have contended that biodiversity in this area should be preserved and are convinced it has the potential to become an asset similar to the Ploughmans Wetland,” she said.

Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange president Nick King said the group had lodged an objection in October to the larger DA because the land was part of the Blackmans Swamp Creek catchment and there had been no environmental assessment of the area.

“It’s therefore encouraging that the applicant has agreed to remove lots 41-62 in the submission of the current DA,” he said.

“Let us hope that any new application is done in a way that addresses the environmental issues that have caused us concern.”

Councillor Stephen Nugent asked whether the applicant had indicated intentions to rezone some of the public recreation land for residential use and development services director David Waddell said they had not.

Councillor Sam Romano, as the former owner of the land, left the chamber and did not vote. 

Councillor Mario Previtera also sat out as his sister owned adjoining land. 


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