In Issue 211 of STEP Matters we wrote about the review being undertaken by Hornsby Council of the planning controls in the Byles Creek area. Local residents have been fighting for years to have the zoning of some large undeveloped lots changed so they cannot be sub-divided into smaller lots leading to clearing of high quality bush that is a wildlife corridor and essential habitat for several threatened species.
The good news is that at the May 2022 meeting Hornsby councillors voted unanimously in favour of implementation of all of the Byles Creek Planning Study recommendations without any changes as below:
- rezone the R2 land within the study area to E4 Environmental Living
- increase the minimum lot size for land to be zoned E4 Environmental Living to 40 hectares
- strengthen the wording of the objectives for minimum lot size, clause 4.1 of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan to protect and enhance existing bushland and significant vegetation
- insert a new Local Provision Clause for Riparian Land into the Hornsby LEP 2013 and provide supporting riparian corridor mapping
- increase community engagement programs targeting the study area
Although there will be more steps along the way with the formal planning proposal etc requiring public comments before it becomes legislation, this has ensured the process will begin.
There are still large lots that will only be protected if they are acquired and conserved. The Byles Creek Valley Union is continuing to meet with our state member, Premier Perrottet to make this happen as promised. However, implementing the study recommendations will improve the level of protection for the rest of the Byles Creek catchment.