Developer Mirador RCL Group open to land swap with Bega Valley Shire Council

The residential developer of a section of NSW South Coast bushland said his business was open to a land swap after concerns were raised over potential loss of biodiversity.

RCL Group chief executive David Wightman said his company would consider discussing the future of the 10-hectare site at Mirador, north of Merimbula, with the Bega Valley Shire Council.

“We have an open mind,” he said.

“We are ready to have a frank discussion. »

RCL Group said it acquired the land in 2011 and has already developed several stages of the housing project.

The original building application was filed in 1989 but is still valid.

Mr Wightman said all 33 lots on the site had already been purchased, but the company would take into account community concerns.

“There could be an alternative that doesn’t involve Mirador if there are other lands the council would prefer to see developed,” he said.

The RCL Group says it is open to discussing the future of its Mirador site.(Alex Hargraves: ABC South East NSW)

However, he said the idea was shut down by the council.

“I don’t know what they’re worried about, probably the feeling that the evil developer will scam everyone,” he said.

“Try it, we’re not that bad.

“If this site is too contentious, let’s find an alternative. »

small green plant growing in the bush
The Merimbula star-haired shrub grows on the site.(Alex Hargraves: ABC South East NSW)

Community interest

About 100 people gathered at the site on Friday to voice concerns about the development and listen to state Greens member of the Legislative Council, Cate Faehrmann.

Ms Faehrmann said she had visited several communities on the south coast facing similar development proposals.

“It is an area of ​​high biodiversity value, home to many endangered species,” she said.

“The Minister of the Environment could look at some of these plots of land and add them to the domain of the national park. »

group of people standing in the bush
Cate Faehrmann says the idea of ​​a land swap should be explored.(Alex Hargraves: ABC South East NSW)

Sam Tierney, who was at the meeting, said concerned residents were surprised by the developer’s land swap proposal.

“We would love to see a proposal put on the table,” he said.

“It seems like a very practical and sensible approach. »

Ms Faehrmann said the idea of ​​a land swap should be explored.

“If there is a block of land that has significantly less biodiversity value and ideally a cleared area, then of course that should be considered,” she said.

“We hope the board will approach the developer’s idea with an open mind. »

Bega Valley Shire Council has been contacted for comment.

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