The Refusal

Update: Adventure Forest Pty Ltd (AKA “Go Ape”) had 12 months to appeal Council’s decision in the Land and Environment Court. I believe this period expired around February 2011. They did not appeal.

Instead, in December 2010, Forests NSW selected Adventure Forest as their preferred proponent to develop a “treetop adventure trail” in Cumberland State Forest (Australia’s only metropolitan State forest). They are currently concentrating their Sydney efforts on this project.

Adventure Forest seem to be distancing themselves from the “Go Ape” brand, but Adventure Forest = Go Ape in Australia. The Go Ape Australia web site still says, “… maybe you just want to be Tarzan and swing through the trees shouting, ‘arrrh-a-arrrh-a-arrrhhhh!’ We’re fine with that too.”


The recommendation for refusal of the Go Ape development application, as it appeared in the agenda for the meeting of the Development Assessment Unit on 2 February 2010 was accepted in full. I suggest that anyone concerned about development in their local bushland read the full recommendation and note the reasons for refusal.

MINUTES OF THE DEVELOPMENT ASSESSMENT UNIT MEETING HELD AT THE HILLS SHIRE COUNCIL ON 2 FEBRUARY 2010:

ITEM-4 DA NO. 36/2010/HA – HIGH ROPE ADVENTURE COURSE – LOT 45 DP 748695, LOTS 910 & 836 DP 752028, LOT 7063 DP 1070983, LOT 7062 DP 1070987 – BIDJIGAL, TED HORWOOD &  EXCELSIOR RESERVES, BAULKHAM HILLS

RESOLUTION

The application be refused on the following grounds:

(1) The proposed development is unsatisfactory when assessed against clause 6(4) of State Environmental Planning Policy No. 19 – Bushland in Urban Areas, Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
(Section 79C 1(a)(i) of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979).
(2) The proposed development is contrary to overall objectives 2(2)(a)(ii), (iii), (vi), (xiv), (b)(iii) and (c)(i) (d) and objective (d) of the Open Space 6(a) (Existing and Proposed Public Recreation) zone of the Baulkham Hills Local Environment Plan 2005.
(Section 79C 1(a)(i) of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979).
(3) The development application provides insufficient information to allow an assessment against clauses 25(1), 27(1)(2)(3)&(4), or 45(a)(a)&(b) of the Baulkham Hills Local Environment Plan 2005.
(Section 79C 1(a)(i) of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979).
(4) The proposed development does not comply with the provisions of the Baulkham Hills Development Control Plan Part C Section 10 – Open Space Part 3.1 – Disabled and Aged Persons Access.
(Section 79C 1(a)(iii) of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979).
(5) The proposed development does not comply with the provisions of the Baulkham Hills Development Control Plan Part D Section 1 – Parking Part 2.1.1(a) – General.
(Section 79C 1(a)(iii) of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979).
(6) The proposed development does not comply with the provisions of the Baulkham Hills Development Control Plan Part D Section 2 – Signage Part 2.6 – Signs in other zones in that design and location of the signage adjacent to Park and Renown Roads is visually distracting and out of character with the surrounding area.
(Section 79C 1(a)(iii) of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979).
(7) The development is considered not to be in the public interest given it does not achieve the function objective of the Baulkham Hills Shire Council Generic Plan of Management for Natural Areas (2008). It also received a substantial amount of objections from adjoining and surrounding resident.
(Section 79C 1(e) of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979).
(8) The application fails to adequately assess the possible noise impacts arising from the proposal.
(9) The development application is internally inconsistent and lacks sufficient
information to allow a complete assessment.