Wetlands under threat

A 35-LOT subdivision in Lawrence poses a threat to the birdlife and wetlands of the town, residents claim.

The subdivision, off Bligh Street, was originally supposed to be only 15 lots, but has been increased to 35 under a new plan that has just been released for public scrutiny.

Residents Thomas and Grace Todd, who live in Ridge Lane just behind the proposed development, believe the new development of 35 lots on just over four hectares of land is a significant development that will impinge on both the wetland and the amenity of the community.

The couple is preparing an objection to the development based on what they fear will be a detrimental impact on the birdlife in the wetland area.

“No-one that we’ve spoken to is opposed to what was the original plan,” Mrs Todd said.

“That had something like 15 houses or something.

“But the new one now has around 35 homes.

“You take 35 homes and all the traffic that’s going to be coming in and out of that small area, I tend to think that it is going to have some disturbance on the birdlife.”

The Todds have inspected the DA and noted that the Clarence Valley Council’s report states that the bird population of the wetland is small.

“I don’t know when the council measure the number of birds in the wetland, but the number we see flying in around dawn we wouldn’t describe as a small bird population,” Mrs Todd said.

“We see it around dawn and dusk – is that the time they’re here to do their count,” Mrs Todd said.

The Todds received a letter from council asking for response to the DA on April 22, giving them around 14 working days to respond.

“What’s happened to the old 28 days. It’s not much time to prepare a submission,” Mrs Todd said.

“We have come to accept that we are going to lose our beautiful view, but we thought it was going to be only 15 houses.

“Now that we’ve found it’s going to be 35. That’s something we’re having a lot of difficulty swallowing.”

The couple is not confident of taking on the council, but hope that pressure from residents can lead to modification of the plan.

“The report looks like it has dotted the ‘i’s and crossed everything,” Mrs Todd said. “But surely the views of the residents must have some influence.”

Clarence Valley Council’s department of environmental and economic services only operates between 8.30am and 11am and could not be contacted for a statement yesterday.

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