Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Dates for the Diary

Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group meeting 

Wednesday 9th October. Progress Hall 5-6.30pm, 197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point

Guests: A council officer from the City Projects teams and Fee Mozley to discuss the Toronto Streetscape plan and lessons learnt from Lamen St Figs
6pm - Discussion about proposed development at 20 Laycock St.
Input from local ‘experts’ greatly appreciated.
Comments from the blog and facebook pages will be included in the community submission

Coal Point Progress Committee Meeting 
 Monday 14th Oct Progress Hall 4-6pm,197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point

Local Landcaring ever Thursday
The Landcare program for 2013 is outlined below with the focus reserve of the month. 
TIN volunteers help out each week. The date is the Lake Mac Green Team day.


West Ridge Reserves 3/10/13


Yural/Ambrose St Reserves 7/11/13


Carey Bay Wetlands 12/12/13

February 2014 

Carey Bay Wetlands  6/2/14

What would you pay to live at Carey Bay?

The Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula project appears to have been aptly named. 

A Development Application (DA) has been lodged for 26 multiple dwellings at Carey Bay in an area identified as ‘the rehabilitation corridor’ on LMCC’s Corridor mapping. 

It will be up to the community to make ‘a stand’ to protect and retain the local wildlife corridor.
The development proposes to clear native vegetation including most of the 71 trees on site to construct
  • Fourteen 1 storey villas
  • Twelve 2 storey terraces
The notice to the residents states “The purpose of the design is to provide a mix of dwelling types and sizes to provide new housing choice primarily for existing local residents wishing to downsize from their large detached home but still remain in the area”.

The scale of this project is larger than the recently completed Lakewood development on Laycock Street, due to the area of land being smaller. A ‘compact’ design is being proposed. 

Neighbours adjacent to the proposed development are concerned about loss of amenity, privacy and the canopy-corridor that supports the abundant wildlife as well as impacts upon the existing sewer and storm water systems.

The Coal Point Progress Association and Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group have concerns about the scale and impact of the development on the local community, existing infrastructure and wildlife corridor, whilst acknowledging it would be ‘good for business’ at the Carey Bay shops.

The proposal and its impact on the community will be discussed at the next meeting of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood group, on Wednesday 9th October 5-6.30pm Progress Hall, 197 Skye Point Rd.  The discussion on the development will start at 6pm. 

It is recognised that the majority of residents will not attend the above meeting so this Chronicle will outline some of the concerns that have been already identified and provide options to make your thoughts known to LMCC by the 11th October.

...But first a Declaration of Conflict of Interest. 

Writing this Chronicle is Suzanne Pritchard, I live adjacent to the proposed development, am the Project Manager for the ‘Threatened Species Project, President of the Progress Association and Committee member of the Toronto Sustainable Neighbourhood group. 
When I first moved to Carey Bay 24 years ago the area was zoned low density residential and there was a Council owned corridor of public land over the gully which channelled water from the Quarterdeck down the hill and under the preschool and off to the Carey Bay wetlands.

Alas, the public corridor and the low-density zoning have both changed and the remnant bushland that is now medium density zoning and creates part of a viable wildlife corridor has 26 dwellings proposed upon it.

Having commented on several DA’s on behalf of the Progress Association community, obtained a $250,000 grant to restore the local wildlife corridor and connected my backyard to the corridor through native plantings, my concerns over the proposed development are both personal, community and environmentally based. 
Neither myself nor the organisations I belong to are opposed to development per se. There is merit in urban consolidation and some innovative designs that display foresight and environmental compatibility and sustainability are available. The issue here is the style of development and the impact on the existing residents, the community and the environment. 

Why comment?
According to LMCC’s Lifestyle 2030 Strategy, Lake Macquarie aims to be a City “that practices participatory democracy and is well governed where there are diverse mechanisms for enabling citizens to have meaningful and empowering input into key decisions that affect their lives in Lake Macquarie.” This Chronicle is an attempt to enable the community to participate in the DA process.

The CPPA met with LMCC planners in 2011 to gain insights into the DA process. . One of the findings from that meeting was that the assessment of a DA’s impact is highly dependent upon the number of comments that get received during the exhibition period. 

How to Comment
In commenting on a DA, short letters stating your broad concerns or a detailed document outlining multiple issues are both valid. If you object to a development you do need to say ‘I object’.

All the development documents for the 26 Multiple Dwellings at 20 Laycock Street can be viewed online at  http://apptracking.lakemac.com.au/modules/ApplicationMaster/default.aspx

A letter summarising some of the concerns of the Progress Association has been provided in this Chronicle to facilitate community members to comment. The Progress Association applied for and received an extension to the notification period.

The deadline for submissions to be received at Council is 11/10/13. 

The letter can be signed and posted as is, edited or sent as an email to council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au and to the  West Ward Councillors 

Letter to Council objecting to the proposed development at 20 Laycock St, Carey - DA 1274/2013

Box 1906
Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310
Ref DA/1274/2013
To whom it may concern,

I object to DA 1274/2013 on the following grounds.

Our local environment is suffering from death by a thousand cuts. This development has the potential to be the straw that breaks the corridor’s back, compromising the options available for wildlife movement.

The scale and bulk of the development is excessive for the local community context. The site plan shows minimal green or community space. 

The Tree Protection plan only protects trees on adjacent blocks. There are concerns about destabilising  the root structures of these trees. No trees are left on the site.

Vehicle access to the site is adjacent to the preschool. Traffic movements around the preschool will be increased compromising safety and parking. Access by service vehicles appears to be problematic.

Stormwater management both entering and exiting the site does not appear to be sufficient for the hard surfaces or reflect the the drainage patterns in the catchment. The site is currently providing ecosystem services such as carbon storage, filtering surface water, and assimilating pollutants. The geotechnical report states “The broad gully that dissects the site is composed of loose to medium dense water charged gravelly sand and clayey sand to depths of upto 1.7m (but generally less than 0.5m)”. The DA proposes removal and recompaction or replacement with engineered filling. 

Personal privacy for residents and neighbours appears minimal with lake-facing decks providing the outdoor entertaining areas and minimal ‘backyards’ 3m from adjacent neighbours.

View corridors for aged residents in the care facilities will be compromised. There are recognised mental health benefits provided by tree and vegetation cover. Additionally the daily environment of the  preschool children will be altered and dominated by the structural mass of the development. 

The recent release of the 5th Report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states more extreme weather and changing rainfall patterns will occur. Corridors will be vital to allow wildlife to continue to move across the landscape.  This is an opportunity to make a stand for corridor sympathetic development.

Two threatened insectivorous bat species are present of the site. The loss of 0.6ha of habitat will fragment and isolate the remaining habitat almost severing the corridor connection that exists on the Coal Point peninsula.

I urge Council to demand a more sustainable development that exemplifies best practice and provides long term viability for the corridor and the community of Carey Bay-Coal Point.

Yours sincerely


TSLS Project Update

September, being Biodiversity Month, saw a lot of activity under Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula project.

The inaugural BioBlitz was attended by 21 locals who found out a little bit more about the local birds, local plants, night-time critters and habitat hollows. 

Two presentations on wildlife corridors were delivered to the Carey Bay preschoolers who were well aware of the importance of trees and found out about how tree canopies help animals to move through the neighbourhood. (Congratulations to the preschool community for achieving excellence in their recent accreditation process!)

Stalls were held at Blue Gum Hills Biodiversity Day and the Living Smart Festival to help spread the word and connect kids with nature through seed craft and treasure hunts and a poster presentation was created for the State Landcare forum.

Weekly Landcaring has been continuing every Thursday with Burnage Reserve the recipient of the bush regen benefits and additional support from volunteers from Trees In Newcastle(TIN) and Lake Macquarie Landcare’s Green team in the past month.

TIN bush regenerators have been busy too… at the remnant bushland link between Hampton St and Laycock St, targeting freesias on the West Ridge Reserves and lending a hand at the BioBlitz. In the coming month they will be focussing on the threatened plant, Tetratheca juncea (TJ) which is in bloom at the moment so it’s easy to spot. The aim is to give the TJ a helping hand by reducing the local the weed competition. 

If you know of any Tetratheca juncea patches that need help please make contact with Suzanne by email coalpointprogress@gmail.com  and the help will be allocated.

Heading in to Year 2 of the project the focus for bush regeneration support will be shifting to assist local landholders who live adjacent to the public reserves with their weed management and corridor creation.  

Several neighbourhood nodes have already been identified and weekday and weekend bush regeneration support is available. It is not too late to be included in the project. Support is available for bush regeneration, nest boxes and their installation and discount native plant purchases.

Additionally there has been a flurry of neighbourhood activity behind the scenes as some locals have been wondering how to protect the corridor around Carey Bay.