Catherine Hill Bay project gets go-ahead

A CONTROVERSIAL development proposal at Catherine Hill Bay will proceed but residents have been given a sweetener in the form of heritage protection for parts of the town.The Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, has proposed state heritage listing for the coastal hamlet south of Newcastle, and rezoning of land for residential development in bushland areas next to it.The town’s dilapidated jetty has not been included within the ”cultural precinct” marked for protection, but 126 19th-century properties – mostly workers’ cottages from the town’s coal mining heyday – will be considered.”If the listing is approved, major developments within the precinct will need to respect the area’s significant heritage values,” Mr Kelly said.Last year, the Land and Environment Court threw out a planned development by Rosecorp for about 800 dwellings in Catherine Hill Bay because of an unlawful land swap deal.That development will soon be reconsidered under the draft development controls for land south and west of the proposed heritage area, and for land north of the nearby town of Gwandalan. Buildings up to nine metres high could be built on those sites.Lake Macquarie Council said the government had ”still not addressed the underlying issues”. A spokeswoman for the council said ”studies have not been prepared that prove that development of this land can be accommodated without significant social and environmental impacts on the area”.One resident, Sue Whyte, was pleased about the heritage listing, but vowed to keep fighting the development.”It’s not everything we would have hoped for but … we’ve been able to push the developers away from the heritage areas.”Now that there will be a new [development application], we really hope that we have a chance to bring those dwelling numbers down. It’s still 820 houses on top of 100. We argue this is overwhelming.”A spokesman for Brian Rose, of Rosecorp, said ”the significant heritage values of the village will be further enhanced by our proposal which will be put forward in due course”.The government is rezoning the land to remove legal uncertainty and is seeking public comment. It follows the revival of the state’s biggest residential development last week, Huntlee New Town near Branxton.
Nanjing Night Net