Shoalhaven News

Last day to have a say on West Culburra plan

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Time is running out for people to have a say on a subdivision that looks set to change the face of Culburra Beach, with final submissions closing today

A large subdivision proposed for West Culburra was rejected in 2018, but the plan was amended and the decision appealed.

Plenty objected to the amended plan, but Culburra Residents and Ratepayers Action Group president Claire Haywood  said residents have been told the plan will be approved with conditions.

And she said that could have a devastating impact on Culburra Beach, its surrounds and its environment.

"Most people can see how destructive it is," Ms Haywood said.

"It's really removal of a large amount of land that is one of the last habitat corridors for wildlife and protected species, especially since the bushfires, and also it's a great, great threat to the oyster industry."

Ms Haywood said local oyster farmer Anthony Munn had spoken out against the development, even in its amended form.

"At the Land and Environment Court hearing he got up and spoke about how devastating it would be for the oyster growers because of the fact there are not enough controls in place to prevent damage to Curley's Bay," she said.

"The oyster farmers are at looking at losing their livelihoods, and then there's the Aboriginal people and the damage to their cultural heritage - there's just so many reasons when this proposal is inappropriate."

Ms Haywood was also concerned about processes used by the Land and Environment Court.

In a letter emailed to interested parties on Wednesday of last week, the court stated the Independent Planning Commission intended to "enter into an agreement to dispose of the proceedings pursuant to section 34 of the Land and Environment Court Act 1979, which will result in the approval of the amended proposal by the Court, subject to conditions."

The correspondence stated all previous submissions were still before the court, but if anyone wanted to make further submissions they needed to be lodged by today.

However Ms Haywood said no-one would say what the conditions were being proposed by the court, and asked how people could make further submissions without knowing what conditions would be applied to the consent.

"That is a main objection, because we haven't been able to get answer about that," she said.

"We've had legal advice and here is no reason why they should withhold those conditions from us."

Image: Land and Environment Court

Tags: shoalhaven city council, Culburra Beach, Land and Environment Court, West Culburra