Former sandmining site at Kurnell being considered for up to 2000 homes

The future?: This former sand mining site could become a housing estate and below the Greenhills Beach estate takes shape. Pictures: John Veage
The future?: This former sand mining site could become a housing estate and below the Greenhills Beach estate takes shape. Pictures: John Veage
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ANOTHER former sand mining site on the Kurnell peninsula, which takes in Sydney’s only privately-owned beach at Boat Harbour, is being considered for housing.

It has been estimated the 177.7 hectare site could provide 1000 to 2000 homes.

In the Greenhills Beach development now under way, 33 hectares was rezoned for about 400 homes while 91 hectares was given over for community purposes.

The government asked major landholders in Sydney to nominate areas that could be rezoned for housing late last year.

Holt sand mining company, Besmaw Pty Ltd, nominated its Kurnell peninsula site, where landfill has replaced extracted sand in recent years.

The site also contains a 4WD recreation park and Boat Harbour.

Because the land is directly under Sydney Airport flight path, conservationists in the area expected housing would quickly be ruled out.

However, a spokeswoman for Planning Minister Brad Hazzard revealed the site had survived an initial cull and would undergo detailed investigation.

‘‘Of the original 43 sites, 12 will not continue,’’ she said. ‘‘The potential housing site at Captain Cook Drive is continuing to be assessed.’’

Sutherland Shire Council strongly opposed housing on the site in a submission to the NSW Department of Planning.

The council said the site was primarily zoned 7(b) Special Development, with smaller portions zoned 4(a) General Industrial, 6(b) Public Recreation (Proposed) and 9(a) Regional Open Space (Reservation) under State Environmental Planning Policy (Kurnell Peninsula) 1989.

Reasons given for its unsuitability included aircraft noise, potential impact of sea level rise, hazard risk associated with the Caltex Oil Refinery and the presence of important biodiversity corridors that would limit the amount of land available for housing.

Other factors included isolation from public transport, lack of service provision on site and ‘‘inability to reach agreement with the current landowner over the final landform of the site, following the cessation of sandmining’’.

PLAN ‘A DISASTER’

Warwick Kent, a Cronulla Dunes and Wetlands Protection Alliance member, said it would be ‘‘a disaster’’ if the site became housing.

‘‘You are talking about 1000 to 2000 homes, on top of the 400 in the Australand-Breen development and 600 in the Sharks’ complex, if that goes ahead,’’ he said. ‘‘The traffic problems would be phenomenal and the frontal dunes on that beautiful beach would be decimated.’’

What do you think of the proposal to turn the former sand mining site into a housing estate?