WARRINGAH Council has made a decision to refuse subdivision of a controversial parcel of prime Brookvale bushland, one which a developer had wanted to build six homes.
The developer lodged an application for a two-lot subdivision of the 97,800sq m block, which borders Warringah Rd, Beacon Hill Rd and Northcliffe Ave. While an environmental protection order restricts development to the northeast corner, asset protection zones mean the total bushland given up for the purposes of this development would have been about 11,000sq m.
The bushland, the largest pristine parcel in Brookvale, was sold by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council last September for under $2 million after acquiring it through the Aboriginal Land Rights Act in 2002. News of the proposed development was not well received by the local residents and the Brookvale Valley Community Group which, along with the MLALC and Warringah Council, signed an agreement 10 years ago to preserve the bushland. Despite the developer’s application being a simple subdivision, council staff expressed the view that a subdivision is not in the “public interest” in what is perhaps the clearest indication yet that development of the site is not wanted.
Other reasons given for refusal included that the proposal was inconsistent with the desired future character of Brookvale Valley and that insufficient information had been provided.
It is the second time the developer’s plans have met resistance. In 2007 the developer had to withdraw a similar proposal as a result of council staff’s “fundamental concerns”.
News of the staff’s recommendation was welcomed by Warringah councillor Christina Kirsch, who is vehemently opposed to any development of the site. “I’m really delighted that staff have seen the importance of that site and recommended refusal,” she said. “It really shows our staff are aware of the need to protect remnant bushland in urban areas to ensure that not everything is overdeveloped.
“The State Government has told us we need to find space for 10,300 extra dwellings, which is ridiculous, so it is all the more important that we protect bushland like this now.” Cr Kirsch urged residents who are passionate about preserving the bushland to attend the Warringah Development Assessment Panel meeting.
The proposal will be considered at the WDAP on Wednesday.