Objection to DA 21/2058 (5 Earl Street, Bowral, Strata Title Subdivision)
 Background

Mount Gibraltar is an iconic landmark of special significance and is also the highest point between Sydney and Canberra. Mount Gibraltar Reserve was listed on the State Heritage Register by the NSW Heritage Council in December 2013, for both its Endangered Ecological Communities and for the Heritage Quarries Complex.

DA 21/2058 (5 Earl Street, Bowral, Strata Title Subdivision

This proposal involves the subdivision of Lot 5 DP 867717, resulting in three Torrens Titled lots. Each of the proposed lots will provide a dwelling envelope for future applications for residential developments to be located.  The site has a total area of 12.1403ha, currently containing vegetation across the site.

Note: the bottom of Earl St was never made. Entry via Carlisle St
Subdivision will fragment a habitat corridor which connects Mt Gibraltar to Mt Alexandra and is vital to the survival of wildlife which presently free range throughout the area, including ready access to the creek. See attached map produced by Council’s environment section. Wingecarribee Biodiversity Corridors (22/06/21).
What can you do before Friday 6 August

Write a letter to the Council

Choose a few key point that particularly upset you and send an email today.

TO:
Lisa Miscamble
General Manager
Wingecarribee Shire Council
PO Box 141
Moss Vale 
NSW 2577
mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au.

Sample:

“Dear Ms Miscamble,

I am writing to formally lodge my objection to the. development proposal for Lot 5 Earl Street, Bowral (DP867717) for the following reasons…”

Please ensure your objection included your postal address, email address, phone number and your reasons for objection for it to be valid.

  1. Mt Gibraltar is a small island of green totally surrounded by increasing urbanisation.  It is an iconic scenic landmark as the backdrop to Bowral.
  2. Tourism is key in the region with 2 million visitors to the Southern Highlands a year (2019).  Community surveys shows people choose to live in and visit the Southern Highlands because of Natural Environment and beauty of the area.
  3. Development on the slopes of Mt Gibraltar is eroding the settlement pattern of the Southern Highlands which is one of discreet villages separated by wooded hill and mountains. Mt Gibraltar is a nature reserve separating Bowral and Mittagong.
  4. The proposed development site is covered by natural bushland which has come through the last drought in better condition than areas on the western side of Mt Gibraltar.  
  5. 320 trees will be removed over 4 ha of land for building envelope and Asset Protection Zones.
  6. A creek and its riparian zone transverse the entire lot and its 3 proposed strata lots.  The hard surfaces created by the Asset Protection Zone and the fire trails to be installed will substantially increase the run-off of rainwater.  This in turn will add to the flood problems experienced at the base of the mountain.  
  7. Clearing will cause erosion thus threatening the creek, which is critical for wildlife support.
  8. Subdivision will fragment a habitat corridor which connects Mt Gibraltar to Mt Alexandra and is vital to the survival of wildlife which presently free ranges throughout the area and needs ready access to the creek.  See attached map produced by Council’s environment section. Wingecarribee Biodiversity Corridors (22/06/21). 
  9. In addition to the site being a core koala habitat, an Endangered Greater Glider and an endangered micro-bat, the large-footed Myotis (Myotis macropus), have been recorded on the site.
  10. The 2021 Koala SEPP applies to this DA, not the 2020 Koala SEPP as asserted on page 20 of the Applicant’s Statement of Environmental Effects.  The DA was submitted on 23 June 2021, which is after the 2021 Koala SEPP came into effect on 17 March 2021. This means that the increased range of Koala feed trees (from 10 species under the 2020 SEPP to the 39 species under the 2021 SEPP) must be taken into account.
  11. Council regulations state native vegetation cannot be cleared on a site with 18 degrees or more of slope.  The subject site is steeper than 18 degrees, therefore the property should not be cleared for development.
  12. The existing subdivision on the corner of Queen St and Oxley Drive has demonstrated the ongoing problems that result from clearing the slopes of Mt Gibraltar.   The remedial work to this subdivision’s retaining walls due to damage from water runoff and the road maintenance is on-going.
  13. If approved, this DA will become a precedent for the adjoining 10 bush lots.  In time, this will result in the entire bushland area being developed and cleared, compounding all the issues of koala and other native species habitat loss, water runoff and irreversible damage to the important biodiversity connectivity of Mt Gibraltar.
  14. This DA must be referred to the Council’s environment section to avoid a repeat of dubious planning recommendations in recent years.  The environment section has the mapping and expertise to properly inform the assessment process.  Reliance should not be placed on private consultants, whether retained by the Applicant or otherwise.