Surprise objection to donated land at Caringbah South being used to expand nature reserve

Not everyone thought a resident's generous gift of part of her property to expand a nature reserve at Caringbah South was a great idea.

When Sutherland Shire Council carried out required public consultation on rezoning the land from R1 (residential) to E2 (environmentalal conservation), one submission opposed the proposal.

A council report said the submission stated the area should be used for housing.

Four other submissions had expressed support for the additional open space and rezoning.

The report said the housing suggestion was inconsistent with the terms of the donation that it remain in its bushland state for the community's benefit.

"Therefore it is not appropriate to change the planning proposal to facilitate housing," the report said.

The council is expected to rubber-stamp the recommendation the proposed rezoning be sent to the state government for approval.

In 2018, Dr Jean Leyendekkerss offered the council the rear 800 square metres of her property to expand Wattlebird Bushland Reserve.


The donation was valued at about $1.7 million.

I dont want the developers to get this block I want it to stay a little bit of greenery in the wilderness, she said.

Dr Leyendekkers campaigned in the 1990s for the creation of Wattlebird Bushland Reserve.

The council, which owns the land between Gannons Road and Saunders Bay Road, relented after unsuccessfully trying to buy the back sections of residents properties to get added land to make a sports field.

For many years, Dr Leyendekkers belonged to the bushcare group, which maintains the reserve.