Site works defended

THE company looking to build an 800-home estate in Hazelmere has responded to environmental concerns over the proposal’s impact on a long-term Bush Forever site.

Cedar Woods was recently successful in applying to amend the State Government’s Metropolitan Regional Scheme to subdivide parts of a 273ha site off Midland Road.

The area is listed as a Bush Forever site and is immediately adjacent to the Gooseberry Hill National Park.

The project is subject to environmental review under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act because it could affect breeding habitat for threatened Black-Cockatoo species.

Cedar Woods said about two thirds (185ha) of the site would be retained as a conservation area, while the remaining third (88ha) would be residential.

About 50ha of the proposed residential area has been identified as potential black cockatoo foraging and breeding habitat.

The Cedar Woods environmental response said the Bush Forever boundaries did not accurately reflect the environmental values of the site.

“It includes land either completely cleared, as it was used as part of the rifle range and where hard infrastructure exists, (and is) contaminated or degraded with pasture and weed understorey,” it said.

“Detailed environmental investigations have resulted in a better delineation between degraded areas suitable for urban development and the conservation values to be protected.

“Vegetation is to be protected through the retention, restoration and protection of the best quality vegetation.

“This involves the realignment of the Bush Forever Site 213 to more accurately reflect the best quality vegetation.”