YANCHEP developers have received permission to clear 2.5ha of bushland in the Capricorn coastal node.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has approved Capricorn Investment Group and Yanchep Sun City’s clearing permit application so it can develop the foreshore near the former Club Capricorn site.
The developers originally applied to clear 1.72ha in 2017, then revised the plan to clear 2.5ha within a 2.54ha area last August.
During public consultation for both proposals, the department received no submissions.
A report on the May 17 decision said the proposed clearing would affect a Bush Forever site by removing 2.38ha of native vegetation.
“The proposed clearing will result in the loss of up to 2.5ha of native vegetation, the majority of which is in a very good condition,” it said.
However, it said a vegetation survey recorded no threatened or priority flora species in the site and a fauna study found no evidence of Carnaby’s black cockatoos roosting or nesting.
“The coastal heath land present within the application area provides minimal foraging value for Carnaby’s cockatoo,” it said.
“The application area does not contain high biodiversity or significant fauna habitat.”
One of the conditions for approval required the developers to give the department $44,838 to buy 3.12ha of bushland with similar values to the area that will be cleared.
Another condition required development to start within one month of clearing to limit the effects of wind erosion.
“The proposed clearing may increase the risk of weeds and dieback spreading into surrounding Bush Forever site and vegetated areas,” it said.
“A weed and dieback management condition has been placed on the permit to mitigate the impact of spreading weeds and dieback into adjacent native vegetation.”
In response to a preliminary assessment last year, the applicants advised that existing informal tracks through the foreshore fragmented the Bush Forever site.
“The proposed development will formalise some of these tracks as boardwalks and concrete and gravel paths and decommission and rehabilitate others,” the report said.
Under the Environmental Protection Act, a person who disagrees with a decision to grant a clearing permit may lodge an appeal within 21 days. Visit www.der.wa.gov.au for more information.