• Tony Bosworth

Kurrajong Forest goes under the auctioneer’s hammer again tomorrow – land approved for 35 new homes



From the sky – as seen by a real estate agent’s drone – it's a lush forest of tree canopy sitting alone amongst scattered developed plots, but soon Kurrajong Forest will likely be home to yet more houses in the area.


Tomorrow – Tuesday - the 3.23 hectares (8 acres), with 230metres frontage to Kurrajong Road, goes under the auctioneer’s hammer with DA approval for 37 new home blocks, though two blocks have been set aside for some form of onsite sewage system yet to be determined - Kurrajong is not connected to mains sewage.


Tracey Hawkins – whose family has lived near the site since the 1940s and in Kurrajong since the 1820s - says a housing development of this size will “destroy an important wildlife corridor within the village, increase traffic on narrow Kurrajong Road and Old Bells Line of Road, as well as increase parking issues within the village shopping centre".


She’s been campaigning against the development through her website Save the Kurrajong Forest since the former Crown Land was first sold to a developer back in 2015 who planned to put 52 homes there, which would have meant the almost total clearing of the forest, and seen blocks as small as 450 square metres.


Back in October 2016, Ms Hawkins said, “the site is more suited to a 2 or 4 lot subdivision with substantial retainment of the forest as a community reserve.


L-R: Bower bird nest, Red Ash growing on the forest floor, and a koala spotted in 2016


“This would be in keeping with the rural aspect of this part of the village – one that residents cherish.”


It’s worth noting Hawkesbury Council has always been strong in its resistance to the development, even when the development plan changed to the current 37 lot design.


But Council was overruled by the Land and Environment Court, who sided with the developer back in 2018 and decided the 37 lots subdivision could go ahead. And now – before anything has been built - the land is being flipped again via auction tomorrow.


The fact there is no licence yet to run a sewer system on the site may explain why it is on the auction block once more.


"The proposed sale of 67 Kurrajong Road has reignited the debate of development versus keeping the current village landscape and adds to the conversation about the future of the Hawkesbury in general,” Ms Hawkins told the Post.


“It's about finding a balance between maintaining habitat while providing homes for people to live."


"The site was originally bequeathed as a park to the NSW Government by the Malcolm family when they subdivided this section of Kurrajong in the 1920s,” she says.


“This area of the village is made up of large land holdings and is an example of what the village used to be like. The site is an excellent example of re-wilding - for a brief period of time it was leased for farming - and now is home to a koala, a visiting swamp wallaby and abundant bird life.”


Ms Hawkins knows the land well and says, “in contradiction to the environmental survey carried out by the developer’s assessors, this site is an important wildlife corridor in our small town. It is home to generations of wildlife, including a vast array of birds, bats, reptiles and insects such as Bower Birds, Crimson Finches, Blue Wrens, Plovers, Kookaburras, Water dragons, lizards and snakes. As long term residents we can confirm a sighting of a koala as well as many visits from the local wallaby.”


She says water runoff from any built development will also likely affect Little Wheeny Creek.


“As long term residents we have seen a family of platypus in these waterways and are concerned about the environmental impact such a development will place on this important ecosystem,” she says.


“A development akin to the housing developments of Marsden Park, Gregory Hills or Rouse Hill where people live on top of each other is not necessary in Kurrajong Village. The approved housing estates at Glossodia and Redbank already fit this purpose.”

67 Kurrajong Road, Kurrajong, will be sold via an online public auction on Tuesday, December 14 by CBRE real estate.





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