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Zoning Threats to Cromer/Red Hill/Oxfor​d Fall trails and bushland - IMPORTANT

marcel van schie's picture

By marcel van schie - Posted on 21 June 2013

Hi All,

Today The NSW Department of Planning issued a draft strategic report for the Oxford Falls/Cromer area.

The draft report suggest zoning almost the entire Red Hill/Oxford Falls area E3 – see their map 7 on the link below.
E3 allows a wide range of development including schools, residential etc. It also allows recreational activities.
The risk of E3 zoning is that without constraint, our bushland can become fully developed.

Please make a submission to their website below criticising the E3 Zoning of existing bushland and requesting that areas of existing bushland and or significant to prohibitive environmental constraint to development be Zoned E5 – environmental protection or if you disagree with E5 at least have a restrictive caveat on E3 to prevent all but recreational development.

Please make your submission at link below – at the bottom of the webpage.

if you are particularly concerned or believe that our voice has not been heard at the consultations so far (as I do) then write to the minister of planning Brad Hazzard as your local or adjacent to local member for Wakehurst: email address:

We have significant political presence now due to the work of trailcare, this forum and other recent actions by members and locals ie: Manly Dam action with Warringah council etc.

Also note this is NOT a council matter. Its a NSW Gov issue so needs to be addressed at State Level - ie local state member and brad hazard.

hawkeye's picture

Since Marcel and I discussed this, I've found that it is roughly similar to existing restrictions, but takes aged care (which use to trump everything) off the list of permitted uses, so from that perspective it's a slight improvement. Only one house is permitted every 20 hectares (140m x 140m approx), and much of the terrain is unsuitable or subject to restrictions due to severe environmental impact if development were to proceed. So there are hurdles to excessive development.

However, it is still worth making a submission requesting improved environmental protection from the vanilla E3 proposal.

This will help safeguard our interests, reduce the possibility of owners/developers pushing the envelope (as people do), and keep environmental groups on side.

MarkkyMarkk's picture

I've had a bit of a look at this and it looks like they want to rezone most of the land E3. This isn't a problem for MTB in general, as it pretty much keeps the status quo.

However I'm concerned that the Metro Local Aboriginal Land Council that is a major land holder in the area wants

the majority of its lands to be reserved and leased as an Aboriginal Owned Park under Part 4A of the National Parks & Wildlife Act.

Now, I think its great that MLALC wish to conserve this land for its cultural & environmental significance, but being under NPWS - will this mean that riding any single-track here now be illegal? I recall that when some Crown Land north of Oxford Falls was added to Garigal National Park, that some existing trails suddenly became off-limits. Is this scenario likely to repeat itself at Red Hill & Oxford Falls? I wouldn't like the situation to arise again where NPWS rangers were setting up covert cameras to bust non-complying MTBers.

Simon's picture

I'm hoping that may even be a further plus.

Things have come a long way since those days and one of the reasons Bantry Bay was chosen first for new Mtb trails is that it was easier to coordinate with only one major land manager.

We need to keep on top if this and I will contact MLALC directly.

MarkkyMarkk's picture

Yeah, I guess I'm unclear how an Aboriginal Owned Park would operate under a pseudo NPWS tenure. Otherwise, I agree - it would be positive for MTB as it would prevent any further development & subdivision of the land.

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