Coastal Development

Coastal Development

Many of the threats to coastal species and coastal places are closely associated with planning and development decisions at the local level. Even if conservation reserves are established along the coastline, many of the values within these reserves, and the species which inhabit them, can be threatened by development in the adjacent land. In addition to the impact on endangered species, development along the coast has the potential to restrict coastal access and reduce the scenic amenity of wild coastlines.
Our group opposed the development approval of several houses in sensitive locations along the coast, including Searcy Bay, the western side of Calca Peninsula, and the Sceale Bay dunes, and although we failed to prevent three houses from being established in what we believe are inappropriate locations, we have made a significant contribution to the debate which will result in a profound change to planning and development along the South Australian coastline. The Better Development Plan project will establish a standard framework for development assessment, prescribed in local government Development Plans. The coastal zone has been expanded to include areas which are subject to coastal processes (e.g. sand-dunes and areas subject to inundation), and all development within the new coastal zone will be classified as "Non-complying". This does not mean that there will be no development, but that any development will need to be assessed on its individual merits by the Development Assessment Commission.
In 2007, we were successful in preventing a proposed tourist road to Cape Radstock which would have intruded into secluded breeding areas for the White-bellied Sea Eagle. This new road would have continued from the current termination of the Point Labatt Road, to Cape Radstock and the southern end of Baird Bay. Active nesting territories for these birds are located below the cliff-line between Point Labatt and the Baird Bay entrance. Opening these areas up to tourist traffic would have dramatically increased disturbance from above the nests, and this would have placed the breeding success of these birds at risk. Then Environment Minister Gail Gago intervened, and the plan was rejected.
Also in 2007, a developer from the United States sought approval to build a cliff-top house at the northern end of Searcy Bay. We campaigned against this development, which would have been placed within a successful breeding territory for the Osprey. Thankfully, we were successful on this occasion, and the State Government has since purchased this property for inclusion within the State reserve system.
Cape Bauer, at the northern end of the Chain of Bays, is the location for a proposed 300 allotment residential subdivision and tourism resort development. This development has been declared a "Major Project" by the South Australian Government, which means it will be subjected to a comprehensive environmental assessment process. Our group is opposed to the residential subdivision, which we believe is inappropriate for this location. We will continue to oppose this proposal and we will make a detailed submission on the environmental impacts of this proposal during the environmental assessment on this development.

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