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NSW rebuffs latest rezone push for Jumping Creek Estate in Queanbeyan

Subdivision linked to Ellerton Drive Extension approval

A developer bid to build on ecologically sensitive land at Jumping Creek estate close to the Queanbeyan River was rebuffed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment in August.

Googong developer CIC Australia wants to build around 280 homes on lots up to 1000 sqm on Jumping Creek estate, behind Greenleigh. CIC has been lobbying Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council about a parcel of land that the NSW government deferred a rezoning decision on in 2012.

In a letter to the council dated 24 July 2016, the department declined to agree to the land in question being designated as an ‘urban release area’ in the Queanbeyan Residential and Economic Strategy 2015-2031.

Instead, the department said the land should be designated as ‘future investigations land’, requiring further analysis of its ‘urban suitability and capability’ before the area could be considered for urban development.

It is understood a further report on the bid to rezone what is known as the deferred portion of Jumping Creek estate will be provided to the council’s next meeting on 24 August in Bungendore.

The council recently confirmed that, contrary to earlier statements, the proposed EDE is very clearly linked to proposed housing development on Jumping Creek: “The design of Ellerton Drive Extension includes the provision of a water main connection as well as conduits under the road for future services (e.g. electricity, telecommunications) to a potential subdivision.”

The NSW Government had earlier agreed to rezone two parcels of land at Jumping Creek estate,  stipulating construction of the proposed Ellerton Drive Extension as a pre-condition for the estate to be developed.

The NSW department’s letter re the latest Jumping Creek parcel is in the council business paper for 10 August 2016. See item 9.2 and the letter in Attachments.

The land in question is the third parcel that was unresolved when the previous Queanbeyan City Council recommended in 2012 that the NSW government approve a zoning change to allow housing on Jumping Creek.

This was one of several ‘spot rezonings’ considered at the same time as the Queanbeyan Comprehensive Local Environmental Plan.  Jumping Creek estate was not part of the strategic land release plan for Queanbeyan before that time.

Urban development of Jumping Creek estate, an old farming property with numerous remnant native tree species protected under NSW and Australian environmental law, appears to critics in the community as little more than opportunistic rather than thoughtful and necessary development in a city with a new town projected to house around 17,000 people (Googong).

To date, no development application to build anywhere at Jumping Creek has been lodged with the council.

Asked about the push to rezone and build on this so-called ‘deferred’ portion of Jumping Creek estate, the council provided the following response to July Public Forum questions:

A rezoning application (planning proposal) for the remaining areas of Jumping Creek has been lodged with the Council and is currently being reviewed by staff. A number of statutory steps are required to be undertaken prior to the exhibition of any draft plan for the area. This includes reporting the proposal to the Administrator and seeking a formal Gateway determination from the NSW Department of Planning & Environment (DPE) to progress the draft plan. Due to this process, it is difficult to advise of a potential timeframe for exhibition with any certainty. Council is happy to provide additional advice about this matter when, and if, it receives a formal Gateway determination from DPE.

– Queanbeyan correspondent

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