Wollondilly Council has rejected a planning proposal for a housing development councillors deemed inappropriate for Menangle.
Developers Mulpha Australia Limited proposed to expand the existing Menangle village around the Mount Taurus site, at 65 Woodbridge Road, Menangle.
Their proposal would have enabled more than 1800 low and medium density homes to be constructed in clusters in a rural setting.
However, Wollondilly Council knocked back the proposal at its recent meeting following widespread opposition to the development.
Deputy mayor Matthew Deeth said a provisional round of feedback on the proposal resulted in 74 submissions against the proposal, and only six in support.
"The report on this proposal was the most scathing one I've ever seen come back to council," the Menangle resident said.
"It was not just council staff, but tens of groups and people not supporting the planning proposal.
"We have heard from the community who have many concerns about this proposal, and it is clear that there are too many risks for it to go ahead. In addition, the draft planning proposal is not in line with the land use vision and priorities for the shire set out in Wollondilly 2040, the council's local strategic planning statement, and conflicts with a number of adopted strategies."
Cr Deeth said one of the most significant factors in rejecting the proposal was the impact a significantly expanded township would have on the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute in Menangle.
The site is world-renowned for its biosecurity research, and Cr Deeth said it was "leading the charge on a range of issues facing NSW at the moment", including the Varroa mite affecting bees and the looming threat of Foot and Mouth disease.
"The institute said the proposed development would have had a significant impact on their ability to operate," Cr Deeth said.
"This was so serious for them that the Department came out in person to sit down with councillors and make it really clear that, if the proposal were to proceed, it would mean that the entire site would be hemmed in by residential development.
"We can't make up for bad decisions of the past, but we shouldn't be making those decisions now, and this development was really inappropriate."
Cr Deeth said the proposal had a range of other issues, including mine subsidence and sterilisation of mining resources, flooding issues, water service problems and more.
"The proposal for a large urban development on currently un-serviced and isolated rural area would require a significant infrastructure investment, with uncertainties particularly around the delivery of water and sewer, roads and public transport," he said. "This proposed development would divert resources away from the necessary critical infrastructure, funding, and delivery for the identified and prioritised Wilton Growth Area."
He also said the site had historic significance as the location where the cows that escaped the First Fleet were discovered, leading to the local designation of the Cowpastures.
Mulpha Australia did not respond to the Advertiser's questions prior to deadline. A spokesman said back in October that the company's intention was "to introduce strong, architecturally led design controls on built form to ensure they reflect the architecture of Menangle village and its surrounds".
Hi! I've been a journalist with the Advertiser newspapers in Macarthur since 2014, covering all sorts of news, entertainment and sport. I also write movie reviews.
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