- Tuesday 19 January 2016
The recent clearing of land at Coolum Ridges estate by developer FKP was undertaken in accordance with the site’s master plan with appropriate plans in place to protect fauna, said Sunshine Coast Council’s Acting Director for Regional Strategy and Planning, Ron Piper.
“Given the issue has raised questions from the community, a letter is being distributed to local residents outlining the facts about the work, the master planning process and the broad range of environmental initiatives the developer must comply with as part of the master planning process,” Mr Piper said.
“It is important for this work to be kept in perspective. All residents would know that clearing must take place to allow the staged development of the estate – in fact their houses and all estate facilities sit on land that has been cleared.
“Clearing has been undertaken many times since Peregian Springs was first approved in the late 1990s, always in accordance with approvals.
“Council’s role is to ensure the work is undertaken lawfully and in accordance with any conditions, rules and regulations that were imposed on the developer through the project approval process, including appropriate environmental protections.”
Mr Piper said under the conditions of the master plan approval, around 27% of Coolum Ridges was devoted to open space either as conservation areas and parklands or active sporting fields, with these areas designed to connect to the national park.
“In addition, the master plan allows for buffer zones to the motorway and national park, retention of trees around development stages, koala sensitive design and land dedication at the estate’s south-west corner and protection of wallum heathland, among a range of other important environmental initiatives.
Mr Piper said council did not condone unauthorised clearing of vegetation and would take immediate action against any party that committed such an offence.
“However, this is not the case here,” he said.
Mr Piper said a copy of the letter to residents would be available on council’s website.