From General Manager: New signs of development in South West Rocks

Kempsey Shire Council


The South West Rocks community will see new growth this Summer, with Council aware of a number of sizeable residential developments taking big steps forward.

As demand for housing up and down the east coast of Australia skyrockets, many developers have started to work on sites that have pre-existing NSW state government approvals. In some cases, these approvals that have been in place for many years.

The result of this is that Council anticipates that there will be significant tree clearing occurring in the coming months.

The Kempsey Shire community are passionate lovers of the environment and Council recognises that these activities will be upsetting for some residents. Council is also committed to preserving our natural environment and biodiversity. For this reason I thought it sensible to provide some context and background.

These developers are all activating developments that were approved as Major Projects by the NSW state government Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE). These developments were not approved by Council and did not go to a Council meeting.

When a Major Project application is approved by DPIE, a Development Application must still be lodged and approved by Council for consent to subdivide, develop or build on a site, however this is assessed under the conditions laid down by the Major Project approval.

This process does not permit Council to review the Major Project approval and these developments are not subject to appeal.

Council staff monitor the development sites closely to ensure that they are adhering to all requirements and developers are required to engage environmental protection officers who monitor the site for wildlife and other concerns.

Why are there koalas on the streets?

Despite all the land clearing, the appearance of koalas probably isn’t due to the developments. It is koala breeding season right now, which lasts until around February.

Often, young male koalas will be driven off by older males. To survive, they must find a suitable area which is not already occupied by other dominant male koalas. As such you are more likely to see koalas crossing our roads or moving through our neighbourhoods.

To keep our koalas safe, be vigilant in looking out for them on the road while you are driving. especially between dusk and dawn. Drive slowly and carefully at night.

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