Independent NSW MP and South Coast resident Justin Field has called on NSW planning Minister Rob Stokes to intervene to prevent decades old ’zombie’ development approvals from clearing sensitive coastal bushland and to initiate a review of approvals, proposals and appropriate zonings along the South Coast.
Mr Field has written to NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes following his comments in recent media critical of the sale of bushland by Eurobodalla Shire Council to enable future residential development. A copy of the letter is at the bottom of this post.
Mr Field has documented over 200 hectares of coastal bushland at risk at seven sites that are either approved or proposed for future residential development in small coastal villages, like Manyana and Dalmeny, in the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla. See the South Coast Bushland at Risk map.
Mr Field said, “These developments would change the face of some of the South Coast's most loved coastal villages and could see hundreds of hectares of sensitive coastal bushland clear-felled for totally unsustainable urban growth.
“Some of the development approvals and urban release plans are twenty, thirty or even forty years old. It is absurd to most to think these decisions should stand without reconsideration of the merit or impacts.
“The circumstances for many of these projects have changed and our understanding of what makes good planning has changed and we’ve also seen so much bushland damaged by the 2019/20 fires. We need a planning system that can adapt and is able to reconsider many of these proposals before so much critically important bushland is lost.
“I am asking Minister Stokes to establish a moratorium on the clearing of coastal bushland and forests from these historical approvals while a review of coastal development approvals, proposals and appropriate zoning is conducted,” Mr Field said.