The Community Environment Network (CEN) supports the Central Coast Council’s recommendation to refuse an application for a four-lot subdivision on environmentally valuable land at 35 to 45 Clarence Road, Springfield.
“CEN hopes the Local Planning Panel adheres to the recommendation and refuses this proposal when it meets on Thursday,” said CEN Executive Member, Mr Gary Chestnut. “The application was referred to the Planning Panel because of the high number of submissions received – an indicator that the proposal does not have community support.
“The proposed subdivision would be contrary to zone objectives, the character of the site and surrounding area. It would not provide a sufficient buffer for the critically endangered Rhodamnia rubescens species and would require clearing of the buffer zone protecting the Ecologically Endangered Community (EEC) of rainforest. The South-Western portion of the land is also flood prone,” Mr Chestnut said.
“In fact, the five reasons given to the Planning Panel to refuse the application are self-explanatory and irrefutable,” he said. “The proponent has submitted inaccurate information about the contours of the land. They have provided inadequate information on the turning heads required by the Rural Fire Service. Their Arboricultural Impact Assessment Report gave inadequate information on the proposal’s impact on trees.
“The Arborist report detailed that of the 157 trees surveyed, all were recommended for removal with the exception of four palm trees,” he said. “Their suggested removal of a ‘dam’ known to, and loved by, locals as the Springfield Pond Wetland is simply unacceptable.”
Mr Chestnut said the Local Planning Panel’s refusal of this latest subdivision proposal should “put an end” to any plans to subdivide and develop the land which is one of the last remaining corridors between Rumbalara and the Erina Creek Wetlands.
“The best outcome for biodiversity, for sustainability and for the community, would be for this land to be added to the Coastal Open Space System (COSS),” Mr Chestnut said.
“Every development proposal put forward since 2016 has failed to provide adequate protection to this ecologically valuable land which is home to two species of vulnerable microbats, Latham’s Snipe, the critically endangered Rhodamnia rubescens and a rainforest community,” he said.
This latest proposal was submitted to Council in November 2018, Mr Chestnut said. “The proponent has been given more than adequate time to provide Council with additional and accurate information and has failed to do so. The panel must refuse this proposal.”
The Central Coast Council's report recommending the refusal of the proposal can be found here.
For more information about Springfield Ponds Wetlands visit their website.