Affordable housing plan at Blackmans Bay ‘detrimental’ to swift parrots, claim opponents

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Opponents of a proposed affordable housing development say it would have a detrimental effect on the critically endangered swift parrot. Picture: NORM OORLOFF

BLACKMANS Bay residents concerned about the rezoning of a 3ha parcel of land say Tasmania’s swift parrot population is under threat from the proposed affordable housing development.

Resident John Maynard told Tuesday’s Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal hearing that the rezoning posed a risk to the area’s biodiversity and habitat.

“The planning amendments are hugely detrimental to the Blackmans Bay residents and to the protection of wildlife, particularly the swift parrot,” he said.

Matt Clark from JMG, representing the proponents, said risks to wildlife were being mitigated.

“We are putting into place some conditions around housing design that’s sympathetic to swift parrots that will go into the final permit,” he said.

COUNCILLORS CONDEMN ‘LACK OF COMPASSION’

CONCERNS RAISED OVER AFFORDABLE HOUSING ESTATE

The Blackmans Bay land is owned by the Tasmanian Presentation Sisters, a group of Catholic nuns, who wish to build 50-70 social and affordable housing units.

Sister Gabrielle Morgan at the site of the proposed affordable housing estate at Blackmans Bay. Picture: MATT THOMPSON

Kingborough Council consultant planner Alex Brownley said the amendment would see some of the land rezoned from low-density residential to general residential, in line with most of the suburb of Blackmans Bay.

“Taking into account the land use planning strategy, this area is adjacent to other residential land, it’s well located close to amenities such as schools and shops, it’s infrastructure rich, it’s on cleared land — urban density should be encouraged in this area.”

RESIDENTS TO FIGHT HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

PRIME LAND EARMARKED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Resident Anne Harrison said she was concerned to see “the carving up and slicing and dicing of our suburb”.

“What protects it from becoming concrete blocks, what protection of biodiversity and character are there in the DA process?” she said.

Blackmans Bay resident Ros Pyrke said better consultation with residents earlier on in the planning process may have eased concerns.

“We feel we’ve been fairly well heard though [at RMPAT] though we maintain that if there’d been better consultation in the first place, most of the objectives of both residents and the proponents could have been better met,” she said.

The RMPAT hearing continues on Thursday before adjourning to make its final deliberations.

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