25 October 2021

Dalmeny land sale makes way for more development

| Tom McGann
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Little girl hugging tree

Rosella (last name withheld) hugging a tree at Dalmeny. Photo: Facebook.

Eurobodalla Shire Council’s sale of 40 hectares of land at Dalmeny is causing consternation among some residents who believe it should be retained in its natural state.

The land has been sold to Sydney developer and director of Heppa Constructions Andrew Scarano, and is expected to be used for a housing development.

However the sale has caused controversy among some Dalmeny residents who say the bushland is home to many native species and a popular spot for families to enjoy bushwalks and picnics.

They had called for part of the site to be retained as bush land, but the entire block has been sold. It has been zoned R2 which allows for low-density residential housing.

Contracts for the sale were exchanged between the council and Mr Scarano earlier this month, and the land is expected to become the site of his first South Coast development.

“It’s very early days and there is a lot of planning to be done, but it is my intention this will be a quality development,” Mr Scarano said.

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Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Director of Planning Lindsay Usher, said interest in the land was extremely strong which only reinforced the wisdom of selling it at this time.

“The settings are in place to ensure it will be a good development outcome,” Mr Usher said.

The number of houses to be built on the land is unknown, however biodiversity, landscape and heritage, provision of open space and infrastructure such as roads and services, will have to be taken into consideration.

Mr Usher said community input would be sought allowing residents some say into what the development will look like by contributing ideas to the Development Control Plan.

However, a popular Facebook group, Dalmeny Matters, has already launched an online petition in a bid to save the bush, stating the development should not go ahead.

So far the petition has attracted more than 4000 signatures.

Sally Christiansen, owner of the Facebook group, says the Dalmeny community is gutted to hear of the land sale.

“This bush means so much to our community, especially during lockdown,” she said. “It has been somewhere for people to recharge and reconnect with nature.”

Mummaga Lake, Dalmeny

Mummaga Lake, Dalmeny.

Mrs Christiansen said Dalmeny residents used the area for bushwalking, bike riding and bird watching.

Now that the land has been sold, Mrs Christiansen believes it is up to the people of Dalmeny to watch closely at how council drafts a control plan for the whole bush area.

“We will be making sure that council follows all the protocols that they have in place,” she said.

“But also looking ahead, those protocols will be either approved or denied by a new council coming in for 2022, so the elections are going to be a really big issue for us.”

Mrs Christiansen said the bush land is home to some threatened species including cockatoos and yellow-bellied gliders.

“This species (gang gang cockatoos) has seen almost a 70 per cent decline and are now endangered,” her website states.

The site further states other threatened species such as yellow bellied gliders and glossy black cockatoos also call this land home.

“Loss of habitat is these species greatest threat.”

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Council believes the new housing zone will relieve pressure on housing supply as the Eurobodalla Shire is facing a shortage across all income levels and housing types.

The shortage has been exacerbated by the Black Summer fires and the pressure from city residents moving to regional areas.

There has been a 21 per cent increase in the projected number of dwellings required in the Eurobodalla Shire over the next 15 years.

Council has not revealed how much it received for the land, nor how the proceeds will be spent.

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Chfristine Macauley AM3:48 pm 25 Oct 21

We need infrastructure and facilities and this is a very very positive move for Eurobodalla and particularly for Narooma Dalmeny Kianga more people means better facilities: health, shopping choices, education, food and greatly aids our local small businesses who have been so adversely affected by the past two years of bushfires and COVID restrictions.

I can only take Dalmeny Matters word that the area in question is so popular as I personally have never seen anyone using it in any way other than to dump unwanted goods. I do notice however, that with the end of lockdowns there are far less walkers out and about. I can only imagine that they are now shopping, visiting cafes and catching up with much missed friends and family.

This area has always been welcoming to our visitors and I really dont like to think we will deny other families the pleasure of living in this beautiful place. More jobs means families can stay together, children do not have to leave home and go far away for employment. New opportunities are already started, it would be tragic to see the area stagnate. It has been forgotten for so long by Council and any local industry closed particularly fishing. The new food trail is in fledgling state but is only just including Narooma, the community in this area is made up of many different groups our volunteer groups need new blood and new people to drive us forward out of the gloom of the past two years.

Apart from the Mayor, how many Eurobodalla Councillors are members of, or connected to the Liberal Party which, I believe, has a pro-development agenda.

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