Monday, May 18, 2009

a rare commodity in lilydale

report from the roundtable - 12 May

At the last meeting of council we had to consider a 26 lot subdivision in Lilydale. What made this subdivision application quite different to most council considers in Lilydale is that the land in question was covered by significant amounts of indigenous vegetation.

Planning officers had recommended a refusal of the subdivision and I readily seconded the motion to refuse the application.

The site is a rare commodity in Lilydale, it has high conservation significance due to the presence of habitat for the Powerful Owl and the rare Acacia Leprosa (Cinnamon Wattle).

I thought the subdivision was an overdevelopment of the site and the loss of vegetation was extensive. The proposal sought to remove over 170 indigenous canopy trees, 6 of them large trees, 4 very large trees under the native vegetation assessment.

The land is 250 metres from a know roosting site for the Powerful Owl, listed as vulnerable under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.

These Powerful Owls (a juvenile and an adult) were photographed in Owl Land - Mt Evelyn. We are very lucky to have such magnificent creatures on our doorstep, its important we do what we can to protect their habitat. Many thanks to Francis Mayson-Smith of MEEPA for the image.
I thought the application did not respond well to the significance of the site and no attempt was made to provide building envelopes on each lot to protect vegetation.

I am pleased to say that councillors supported the refusal unanimously.

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