By Sonja Cameron
The following are details discussed at the AGRA meeting on the 16th March regarding concerns about selling Crown Road into private ownership and our desire to keep the Crown Road in public hands.
This is a beautiful piece of untouched nature and we want it to stay that way with legal public access for scientific study. Please review the proposals.
The proposed sale of the Crown Road is of concern to us for the following reasons;
1. Road construction and vehicle pollution
The Crown Road is essentially un-made currently and runs through native bushland on a steep gully leading to Fosters Creek and Calabash Bay. Both Fosters Creek and Calabash Bay are nominated as wetlands under Hornsby Council zoning and provide an essential environment for marine life for the entire Berowra Creek/Hawkesbury River system.
In the event that the crown lands road was to become a private driveway for housing development along the banks of Calabash Creek, the resultant sedimentation into the creek system as well as the vehicle related heavy metal, plastics and pollution could potentially have long term effects on the viability of the wetlands.
2. Development Refusal DA/1009/2013
The proposed purchase of the Crown Road and development as a driveway would potentially provide vehicle access to 4 proposed waterside properties recently refused by Hornsby Council following a 5 year approvals process and a further 4 years of deliberation from the NSW Dept of State Planning 4 years on the SEPP No. 1 objection for varying block size. The sedimentation resulting from the 60m clearing of steep lands required for the asset protection zone of the housing proposal along the wetlands foreshore would undoubtedly do irreparable harm to the wetlands.
3. Crown ‘Nature’ Road Reserve Rare and exciting opportunity for research into endangered animals
Our members have been in contact with scientists in regards to monitoring the spotted quoll in the area. We have uncovered a large aboriginal carving and also have some recent sitings in the Silverwater Estate area. The existence of an untouched Crown Road in this bushland location is an exceptional opportunity to ‘tread lightly’ and research the possible presence of the spotted quoll and other native species. Koalas have been located recently on Bay Rd, and historically were present in this bushland. The keeping of this land as ‘Crown Rd Reserve’ would allow us to facilitate legal small scale scientific study of the native wildlife.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you our community concerns with you. Contact Jill Gleave for more infomation.