Hornsby Landcom ESD Study:a benchmark case
During the mid-1990s Landcom developed proposals for subdivision of various crown land sites at Hornsby Heights, Berowra and Asquith. Most of these bushland-covered sites (Hornsby Heights and Berowra) are immediately
adjacent to Berowra Valley. The public expressed concern that residential development of these sites would not be ecologically sustainable because of the potential impact upon endangered flora and fauna, erosion,
sedimentation of local waterways, weed infestation of adjoining bushland, bush fire hazard and related matters.
On 17 May 1997, owing to a groundswell of opinion from concerned residents who took direct action by putting themselves in front of bulldozers, the then Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning halted work to allow
‘new studies to be undertaken’. Landcom subsequently reached agreement with Hornsby Council and concerned residents to commission an Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) study into Landcom’s
development proposals in Hornsby Shire.
The Total Environment Centre (TEC) was appointed to prepare a study brief and coordinate four separate studies by suitably qualified and experienced consultants. The fifteen residential-zoned Crown land sites consisted of
about 47 ha with a potential yield of 554 lots. On 7 November 2000, Landcom notified Council that, in accordance with the recommendations of the ESD report, it considered that only thirty-four lots were financially
viable for development. The remaining lots were to be incorporated into the corresponding adjoining Berowra Valley Regional Park, Muogamarra Nature Reserve and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, subject to negotiations with the
National Parks and Wildlife Service and the resolution of any claims under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW).
Total Environment Centre Inc. 1999, Hornsby Landcom Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) Study Berowra Valley, CD Rom, available from Hornsby Shire Council, Hornsby.