Blue Mountains City Council

A Development Application (DA) for a sub division of the 16,668m2 site at 112 Cleopatra Street in Blackheath (see http://tiny.cc/l4o7x for site location) was lodged on 17.09.08 and is due to be determined at the Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) meeting on 14.12.10.

The DA proposes to remove all of the trees and foliage on the site (over 350 pine, exotic and native trees some over 50 metres tall) to provide a total of 10 building lots.

Under the BMCC LEP 2005 the whole of the site is zoned as Living – Conservation with a Dominant Landscape setting, it is also classified as a Bushfire Prone Property.

The impact of this sub division upon the streetscape in the neighbourhood will be immense. Effectively removing all of the existing tree cover from one of the highest points in Blackheath, a location highly noticeable from Govetts Leap Road and forming an iconic image of the town.

Environment + Wildlife
The site is an important interface between urban and natural environments and it is adjacent to the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the Blue Mountains National Park and the Centennial Reserve. It is therefore a corridor for the passage/movement of much native wildlife. Eradication of all of the trees and foliage and the treatment of the site with herbicides will endanger and severely compromise the habitat of these species.

An independent arborist’s report obtained by BMCC confirms that the proposal will also impact over 40 trees located in neighbouring properties that are identified as being at high risk of failure from wind throw as a direct consequence of the proposed sub division site works.

The DA has impacts on the heritage significance of two of Blackheath’s most notable Heritage Items, ‘Cleopatra’ at 118-124 Cleopatra Street and ‘Balquhain’ at 161-169 Govetts Leap Road.

The proposed sub division is accessed by two ‘dead end roads’ each 6.5 metres in width. These proposed new roads will ultimately become public roads under BMCC ownership and maintenance, however they will not even comply with the minimum safety and access requirements of LEP 2005 to bush fire prone land; nor the minimum standards set out in Rural Fire Service publications. A complying through road could readily be accommodated.

Why this DA should be rejected!

Safety : Liability : Environment

• Safety of neighbours properties and risk of injury.
The changing of the wind dynamics in the area as a direct consequence of the proposed sub division tree removals, will at the very least affect over 40 trees located in neighbouring properties. This substantial new hazard risks property damage at best and/or personal injury.

• BMCC Legal Liability should a catastrophic event occur?
With the possibility of winds of over 100 km/h in this area, the risk and safety concerns may be even more widespread than anticipated.

• Zoning and Character regulations of the area are ignored.
The proposal has little regard to the zoning and character requirements of the BMCC LEP 2005. The removal of so many trees will degrade the established streetscapes, landscaped settings and general character of the locality.

• Environmental Precedent
The site is unique. The proposed sub division will have a negative environmental impact. It sets a poor example in responding to the zoning and character requirements, but also to the heritage significance of the area and upon the existing wildlife and their habitat.

We, the undersigned, call on the Blue Mountains City Council to reject the proposed sub division DA (Development Application No. S/56/2008) relating to 112 Cleopatra Street in Blackheath.

The NO to 112 Cleopatra Street Sub Division petition to Blue Mountains City Council was written by Friends of Cleo and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.