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Submissions Open on Lizard Rock

Wakehurst MP Michael Regan is urging people to make a submission on the planning proposal for Lizard Rock.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment last week released the Patyegarang planning proposal (formerly known as Lizard Rock) at Morgan Road, Belrose, for public exhibition.

Mr Regan previously criticised the name change, saying it ‘lacked transparency’, amid concerns that people would not realise the proposal was one and the same as Lizard Rock when it was released for public exhibition and comment, which has now occurred.

The Patyegarang planning proposal has been put forward by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) who owns the land, which was Crown land granted to it under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

As freehold owners of the land, the MLALC lodged a Development Delivery Plan under the NSW Aboriginal Land State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) which is intended to facilitate the ability of Aboriginal Land Councils to have special consideration for development applications over Crown land which they have been granted.

Michael Regan at Lizard Rock

The plan for 450 homes at the site was given shock approval two-days before Christmas last year by the Sydney North Planning Panel. Local politicians scrambled, with the Liberal Government promising not to allow the proposal to proceed if re-elected.

Mr Regan (image above) took the seat of Wakehurst off the Liberals and Labor won the NSW Election however. The NSW Government have subsequently given no indication they will prevent the development from proceeding, saying the land would not be purchased back from the MLALC for preservation. Only last week NSW Premier Chris Minns accused the Northern Beaches of a NIMBY attitude to development.

Wakehurst MP accepts petition to save Lizard Rock from development

In a speech to the NSW Parliament in June responding to a petition calling for the development to be stopped, Planning Minister Paul Scully left hope for refusal of the proposal resting on a report from the NSW Rural Fire Service on bushfire risk, which was a key factor in scuttling the Ingleside Planning proposal. An expert bushfire assessment submitted with the proposal declares the bushfire risk of the site to be ‘low’ and mitigated by asset protection zones included in the plan.

“Nine potential fire runs of significance towards the site have been identified. All potential fire runs are capable of having impacts mitigated or do not pose a significant potential impact. Previous fire history does not indicate likely fire paths that may affect the site,” concluded the expert bushfire report.

Michael Regan

Mr Regan has asked for community support to oppose the Patyegarang planning proposal, saying it does not stack up to clear greenfield sites when there are better alternatives to meet housing goals.

“The community and I, both when I was Mayor and now as the State Member for Wakehurst, have been very clear. The current Lizard Rock proposal goes against good planning and environmental protection principles. It would see the destruction of large swathes of bushland and place homes and people in an area with high bushfire risk and limited infrastructure. Seriously, have we not learned from the most recent of bushfires?

“More greenfield low-density housing, in areas without pre-existing infrastructure is not what our State, city or electorate needs. The Northern Beaches Council has a comprehensive plan for more homes, including a higher proportion of affordable homes in strategic locations — this is what the community wants, and this is the most sustainable, and fair way to tackle our housing crisis.

“I am seeking the community’s support to put an end to this seriously flawed planning proposal by making a submission to NSW Planning. Together, we must raise our voices and stop this destructive proposal, which is not in the public interest,” said Mr Regan.

Cr Kristyn Glanville talking to a crowd

Northern Beaches Bushland Guardians spokesperson Councillor Kristyn Glanville (image above) has also called on members of the community to be proactive in making a submission now.

“It is outrageous that after the 2019 bushfire season, the State Government is continuing to progress a planning proposal where independent bushfire assessment shows that we will be building houses in places where lives will be at risk. The lives of the residents and the lives of our local RFS volunteers,” said Cr Glanville.

Cr Glanville acknowledged that some people may not be across all of the issues, or know how to make a submission, which is why they had prepared template responses to assist with submissions.

Patyegarang planning proposal (formerly known as Lizard Rock) at Morgan Road, Belrose

The planning proposal seeks to ‘unlock 71ha of currently undeveloped and unmanaged land’ at Morgan Road, Belrose. It seeks to rezone the land for ‘low density’ residential use, with height limits of 8.5m and allow dual occupancy as an additional permitted use.

Public submissions can only be made via the NSW Department of Planning and Environment website at the Patyegarang planning proposal webpage. Submissions must be made before 11.59pm Tuesday, 07 November 2023. All documents relating to the proposal are available on the Patyegarang planning proposal webpage.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate, Gyde Consulting (zoning map)

Source:  Northern Beaches Advocate

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