SEPARATE: Concept plan for sustainable sub-division that is proposed in Maclean. This subdivision would have composting toilets, self reliant water systems and solar panels.
SEPARATE: Concept plan for sustainable sub-division that is proposed in Maclean. This subdivision would have composting toilets, self reliant water systems and solar panels. Clarence Valley Council

'COMMUNE': concerns over eco development

IMAGINE a development with 11 houses that have the ecological footprint of two households.

That is what a development proposal before Clarence Valley Council is hoping to achieve.

The sustainable sub-division slated for Maclean that will utilise under half the site, which lies on Hosckes Lane, for the residential component and is designed to incorporate environmentally sustainable principals.

Under the current proposal, lots will not have reticulated water, houses will rely on composing, waterless toilets and houses will be connected to a grid interactive power supply and not have access to reticulated electricity.

But the immediate neighbours to the proposed property have raised concerns over the impact this sub-division could have during flood times.

Warren Rackham, who spoke on behalf of those neighbours, said the council report does little to alleviate their concerns about times of heavy rain.

"The issue of constructing access over what is a wet area of the gully does not appear to have been adequately assessed," he said.

Mr Rackham said subject to a reassessment of this access area, the people he was speaking for had no issues with a 'normal' sub-division.

"Providing that normal urban standards are applied, which include reticulated water and sewerage and electricity," he said.

"However, what is being proposed here is a de-facto commune, however you dress it up."

Peter Cuming, applicant for the sub-division, said they live next door to the proposed development, which means it is in their best interest to ensure it improves the environment.

Mr Cuming, who works for Sustainable Futures Australia said they have carried out developments like this in other parts of Australia.

"This is a residential development of high quality," he said.

Mr Cuming said the sustainable measures they will put in place have been tried and tested before.

"It's not an experiment. It's just an efficient way of living. If you think about it, it's things that our parents and grandparents always did - recycling, reduced ecological footprint, using resources again, and growing food."

Mr Cuming said the development will fit in with the surrounding area, with the community controls stating that houses must look like those built in the area.



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