Dear Mr. Baird,
We write to make known our opposition to the damaging impacts on Airport Reserve at Milperra as outlined in the Bankstown Business Estate Major Development Plan Concept, July 2015 (as proposed by LEDA Holdings) which is now up for public comment. The Business Park itself is on land owned by Sydney Metro Airpostd, but the plan clearly earmarks damaging impacts on the adjacent Airport Reserve, which is state owned Crown land open space zoned for recreational purposes. Neither LEDA nor Sydney metro Airports own any part of Airport Reserve, which is a vestige of the original County of Cumberland Planning Scheme Green Belt.
We do not oppose the LEDA plan for the airport development site itself, but we do not believe that any part of Airport Reserve should be made to accommodate aspects of the development. It is clear from the development proposal that a 200 metre long sliplane, a 60 metre wide entry into the airport precinct, and a bus bay at the western end are all intened impacts on Airport Reserve. For these to proceed the reserve will have to be rezoned – yet more local open space lost to the public. This is unacceptable.
Airport Reserve contains a significant remnant of Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest which is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the schedules of the Threatened Species Conservation Act. The significance of this site was recognised by the New South Wales Government Environmental Trust when it made Bankstown Bushland Society the recipient of a $43,588 grant in 1992 [Restoration of Swamp Woodland Remnants: Airport and Ashford Reserves, NSW Environmental Trust 92/RR/G23]. Subsequently the society has undertaken volunteer bush regeneration work in support of the grant. More recently, in 2013, the Society was awarded another $54,000 by the Environmental Trust to continue bush regeneration work at Airport and Ashford Reserves, work which is now well underway and due for completion next year.
This work is in support of Bankstown City Council’s Bushland Plan of Management: Reserves in Immediate Vicinity of Bankstown Airport, 2004 (p.16), which recognises the conservation values of the site. In approving the Bushland Plan of Management in 2004 Council endorsed the policy of protecting the bushland in the reserve, as well as the “revegetation of the cleared area in east of Airport Reserve with Wetland Paperbark Swamp Woodland”, with the intention of putting 8,000 plants in the ground (PoM Appendix 8).
The Major Development Plan Concept will effectively annex the site for the purposes of private development on the Airport precinct, destroying the integrity of the Open Space reserve as a consequence. The ecological and aesthetic values of Airport Reserve should not be compromised in this way, and no part of the site should be rezoned to permit this. We believe that access to the development site should not go through Airport Reserve, but via Tower Road at the western end (as outlined in the plan) and through the existing multi lane entry point at Bunnings on Milperra Road (shown in picture), which was built specifically to give access to development sites on the airport precinct. The bus stop should also be located on the development site itself.
Bankstown Bushland Society therefore trusts that your government will protect Airport Reserve by not rezoning it, and rejecting any applications to build roads or other structures on any part. In seeking your reassurance in this regard we anticipate your response.
Bankstown Bushland Society