Red Hill DAs


Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 17 August 2009

Something to come out of the meetings we've had over the last few weeks is the fact that the conservation, bushwalking and other lobbies have a lot more in common than you'd think.

Highlighting this is the fact that a number of DA plans that would affect Red Hill riding are awaiting approval. Below is a list of those that one of the other groups created, it sounds quiet serious. Sad

There are a number of disastrous developments in the pipeline at Red Hill and the surrounding bushland and all of them would destroy walking and biking areas.

Further information can be found on the Warringah Council web site under DA's on-line. Be warned that a set of DA reports can be 1000 pages long so they take a while to read. They are in smaller pdf files though, so can be downloaded bit by bit.

Nearly all the land from Red Hill to Oxford Falls and Narrabeen Lagoon is under threat of development and unless we fight for it, it is unlikely to be available for walkers or bikers to enjoy in 10 years time or perhaps much less. The same goes for a lot of the bushland at Ingleside, Terry Hills, Duffy's Forest, etc, etc. This is why the National Parks are so important as they will be the only bushland remaining soon.

The Koi Carp Fish Farm. DA2005/0586. It is to the west of Red Hill, east of Oxford Falls Road and north of Brooker Avenue. The DA has been approved by council but I don't think the road access has been. The current DA only covers a small part of the central block but this would be only the start. The road access on the east would extend Brooker Avenue about 250m further north into the bush and could be extended 450m further north. This would enable other land even further to the north to be developed. This development has been held up temporarily because additional aboriginal carvings were found on site.

Seniors Living, Sisters of the Good Samaritan. DA 2009/0238. See Manly Daily 5th May 2009, page 3. It is up above the fire station on Willandra Road. It covers about 18 ha of good bushland to the east and north of Lady Penrhyn Drive. The site includes popular walking and biking tracks. This DA is now closed to objections. About 100 objected. Council rejected it but it will go to the Land and Environment Court on Friday 21st August. Several of the blocks of land to the east, between this site and Willandra Road, are currently up for sale and could be developed in a similar way.

Seniors living 2. DA2009/0800. Lot 806. It is at the southern end of Lady Penrhyn Drive and west of Willandra Road. This is only 2.6ha but the entire site would be cleared for development or as an asset protection zone. There would be an additional road between Lady Penrhyn Drive and Willandra Road. This was on display at council until recently and is now closed to objections. Only about 10 objected.

Catholic land. Most of the remaining land to the north of Red Hill is owned by the catholic church or the State government. The church plan to put 400 to 600 houses there in the near future, in the area to the north of Lady Penrhyn Drive and covering most of the bush between the previous two DA's and further north. They recently asked the state government to decide on this proposal rather than have Warringah Council assess it. NSW Minister for planning Kristina Keneally recently refused to deal with it but recommended a 10 year delay in developing this site. See eg Manly Daily 26th May 2009 page 2. This could be challenged in court. The State Government land could be sold off at the stroke of a ministers pen.

Sid Londish retirement village proposal. This is massive (about 400 dwellings, motel, bowling greens, restaurants, shops, swimming pool, gymnasium, ...) and would take over most of the valley floor along Oxford Falls Road, and further north and west. This has been in the Manly Daily so many times I'm sure you must have heard of it. It will be decided by State government, not council.

These are the main ones but there will be others. Most of these sites are used heavily by walkers and mountain bikers. Keep your eyes open for surveyors pegs as these are a clue to where the next proposal will be.

I hope you will join the fight to preserve these areas. One group that is fighting them is the Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment.

Rob's picture

Just got this update in the mail...

Its well past the submissions date for the two current Red Hill DAs, but you can still write to council if you want to object and your comments should be included. You need to have very solid reasons or they will be ignored. Send e-mails to council@warringah.nsw.gov.au or write/phone the planning department quoting the DA number. You need to use the words "I object". If you just make comments or express concern, it may not be considered or counted as an objection. But there are new DAs coming in all the time so we need to be ready for the next. The best way is to keep an eye on the Manly Daily, Warringah Council page on Saturdays and look for large development applications in bushland. Usually you only have a few weeks to read the documents, spread the word and get in a submission. If you don't get a lot of good submissions, it will be lost.

Last Friday was the preliminary Land and Environment Court hearing for DA2009/0238. Part was on site and part at Warringah Council. Only about 8 of us spoke against the development even though there were over 100 written objectors. It was expected to be a preliminary conciliation debate (required by L&EC before a full hearing is booked) but ended up more as an issues debate, to list the matters of disagreement between developer and council. There will be further joint meetings of council's experts and the developers experts to clarify matters of dispute and agreement. Plans can change from day to day. I hope they don't concede too much. The main areas are ecology, drainage, civil engineering matters, planning issues, aboriginal heritage, etc. The hearing will probably be for 3 or 4 days in mid October at the L&EC in town. A limited number of objectors are usually allowed to speak but this is subject to approval of Warringah Council as it costs $10,000 per day for the court costs alone. Its not very pleasant as the developers' barrister sometimes spends all the cross-examination time trying to discredit you.

DA2009/0800 should be going to the council's assessment panel soon so we have to keep our ears open on that. See Warringah Web Site (http://warringah.nsw.gov.au Meetings, WDAP (Warringah Development Assessment Panel), Agendas and reports. Objectors or supporters are allowed to speak for 3 minutes.

The 4 sites considered by the state government (behind Lizard Rock, above Cromer Golf Club, Oxford Falls and Red Hill) appear to be safe for a while following Minister Kristina Keneally's statement last month, but need to be watched carefully.

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