If you have felt the earth, move, under your feet on Failford Road lately, chances are you didn’t imagine it.
A development for 56 new homes within 28 hectares has begun, just under five years after it was first approved in 2011.
It has been a 13 year journey to date, since the then Great Lakes Council recommended in 2003 that the site be rezoned from Rural to allow Rural Residential lots of 5000 square metres.
The site was previously owned by a long time resident who sold most of the land to a local developer and his business partner, retaining the corner with the original homestead for her own use.
Located on the corners of Bullocky Way and Failford Road, the subdivision has emerged from a large block originally almost 30 hectares which included exotic grass with scattered trees, scribbly gum and mahogany woodland and a key regional corridor for the squirrel glider. Consequently, initial Council requirements suggested that seven hectares of the proposed subdivision may be deemed to be an environmentally sensitive area, and further investigations were conducted with reportedly inconclusive results.
The developers subsequently purchased 14 hectares of environmentally valuable land nearby on the proviso that it became a conservation lot, and cannot be developed or cleared. This area of land is protected under a Property Vegetation Plan and has been put in place for perpetuity.
“It’s a process a lot of developers have to go through these days,” MidCoast Council’s Wayne Burgess said.
A plan for a small shopping precinct at the entrance was also submitted to Council but was reportedly promptly rejected.
The approved development application then remained in a hiatus until April this year, when an amendment was granted to reduce some lots from the then minimum size of 5000 square acres to 4000 instead, allowing space for an extra six homes.
“When you look at the locality it’s in an area that’s got lots of rural residential land either side, it sort of matches the existing area,” Mr Burgess said.
From there, it was full steam ahead. It’s expected the subdivision will be completed in early 2017.
It will be known as Bullocks Run and will include a looped road and small cul-de-sac.
Like many areas in the region, it is classed to be within a 1 in a 100 year flood event with ‘consideration’ to a 2100 flood from sea level rises. As a result, swales and culverts have been included in the design to direct storm water away from the development onto a nearby water course.
Similarly, a neighbouring but completely separate development has been approved on the opposite side of Failford Road by a different applicant. With minor filling proposed for certain sites, the six hectare block could be divided into 11 lots, measuring 5000 square metres each. No work's begun.