Mel Stephens is not pleased all flora has been cleared for a new housing estate in Palmwoods after being told a buffer zone would be left in place.
Mel Stephens is not pleased all flora has been cleared for a new housing estate in Palmwoods after being told a buffer zone would be left in place. Warren Lynam

'The birds don't sing': Revolt after native flora cleared

RESIDENTS are in revolt after a Coast section of native flora and fauna was bulldozed to make way for a new development.

When Mel Stephens used to look out the back of her Taronga St, Palmwoods home, she saw a green corridor with "beautiful trees" that housed a "whole ecosystem".

Now, after returning from holidays she's faced with tree stumps and machinery.

 

 

 

The birds don't even sing anymore.

"The corridor included mature trees, many species of birds, frogs and other animals," Ms Stephens said.

"The developers are now saying that the corridor is an easement that will belong to the new owners of the lots behind Taronga (Street)."

A council spokesman said the vegetation removal was "in accordance with all conditions of the relevant developmental approvals".

He further stated a five metre buffer would be replanted with "suitable species" and as per the "planning scheme policy for biodiversity offsets" 6.6ha would be transferred to council by the developer to permanently protect endangered flora.

"Within this area of Environmental Reserve, permanent artificial nesting boxes must be installed to provide compensatory habitat for arboreal mammals and hollow dependant avian species," he said.

Ms Stephens has started the Facebook group, Save the Green Corridor, and is holding a public meeting in a bid to put pressure on the council to have a more transparent decision making process.

"Palmwoods residents and other hinterland residents are not happy with what the council is doing to the landscape," she said.

"They understand there is growth, but there needs to be sustainable planning.

"This needs to be done with the community."

The understanding Ms Stephens had of the development was that a five to seven metre buffer of greenery would remain and despite the required offset, she stressed the importance of protecting well-established flora.

"When we spoke to the developer, it was our understanding that buffer was to say," she said.

"I had the developer stand on my land, look at the trees behind my block and say... as much as we can, those large trees will stay."

The public meeting will take place at the Palmwoods Memorial Hall on May 18 from 6pm.