Work has begun on a three-storey nursing home in Hillview St, Woy Woy.
The work will see a 1.8m protection fence going up around the bush management zone within the site and a second chain link fence around the entire site.
The bush management zone contains some of Umina’s last remnant vegetation of ecologically-endangered Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland.
Thompson Health Care was given approval for the development by the Regional Joint Planning Panel in March this year.
The proposal included the removal of the corkwood tree located in the centre of the site and construction manager Andrew Elmslie said that tree had been removed and eventually it would be replaced with a eucalyptus robusta.
The conditions of consent said that no less than two weeks prior to the commencement of clearing, no less than six nesting boxes were to be installed in retained vegetation.
“The nesting boxes are to be constructed of durable materials such as high density polyethylene and cypress pine and maintained for no less than five years,” the consent said.
“The ecologist report and evidence of the installation of the required nesting boxes must be received by Council prior to the issue of a construction certificate.
“Nesting boxes must be placed in areas of vegetation which will not be disturbed for a minimum of 10 years unless consent is sought from Council for their removal.”
Mr Elmslie said those nesting boxes had been installed.
He said an arborist was on site as was an ecologist monitoring the removal of leaf litter, pruning of branches and weeds.
A couple of trees had been removed to put up the fences, the line for which had been surveyed and pegged out.
The removal of weeds would continue to gradually allow the bush to regenerate.
The work was in preparation of applying for a construction certificate and, once work commenced, it would take about 22 months to complete the building.
Central Coast Branch president of the Australian Conservation Foundation Mr Mark Ellis said that to much despair of many local residents the development had begun.
“After 15 years of fighting to protect this endangered ecological community, the joint regional planning panel approved a development on the site.
“Whilst the panel and planners state the process has been followed, the process is flawed if State protected endangered ecological community legislation is not enforced, and the vegetation it is supposed to protect can be threatened by development and the continual push for urban growth.”
Media Statement, 24 Oct 2019
Mark Ellis, ACFCC
DA Tracker, 24 Oct, 2019
DA 53784/2018 Central Coast Council.
Interview, 24 Oct, 2019
Andrew Elmslie, Northside Construction