Scout land plan faces challenges

SUTHERLAND Shire Council has received 1200 submissions from the community on a development application to build an eco tourism resort at Spring Gully, Bundeena, formerly owned by Scouts Australia NSW.

The application by RPS Australia East Pty Ltd is to build a recreation camp with six guest accommodation tents, a reception tent, refuge building with garage, workshop and a caretaker's dwelling.

A second related application is to open up a road that has until now only been marked out on the map and that will provide access.

Residents have objected to the environmental, economic and social impacts of the development, the large number of native trees, which they estimate will be up to 1500, and native vegetation that will be destroyed.

They are concernd about damage to the sugar glider habitat provided by the bloodwood woodland on the site.

Scouts Australia NSW sold the 5.6 hectares of pristine bushland at Bundeena in early 2013.

Scouts rejected community pledges of $300,000 to buy the land for conservation. Scouts Australia NSW sold the land to RPS for $325,000.

The land was gifted to Scouts Australia NSW in the 1960s for use as a camping ground.

The residents are calling for the transfer of the land to the Royal National Park.

It is zoned 12 — special uses (recreation camp) under Sutherland Shire local environment plan 2006.

Under the new draft, Sutherland Shire LEP 2013, the land would be zoned RE2 private recreation.

The council proposed that the site be zoned E2 - environmental conservation, with "recreation camp" and "eco-tourist facilities" added as permissible uses.

What do you think of the proposal to develop an eco tourism resort at Bundeena?