The Long Bay Okura Great Park Society is celebrating another milestone. Okura Land Holdings, a subsidiary of Todd Corporation, have announced their intention to withdraw an appeal scheduled to be heard in May in the High Court.
The company had appealed a 2017 decision of the Environment Court which prevented them from building up to 2000 houses on the southern shore of the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve.
Development is restricted by the existing rural-urban boundary (RUB) which OHL had wanted moved north from the ridge above the Okura river to the estuary itself. The Society’s reaction to the withdrawal of the appeal is tempered by recent announcements of housing minister Phil Twyford.
He has warned that restrictions such as the RUB may be replaced with “a more expansive approach to spatial planning that will protect areas of special value, invest in transport infrastructure and allow the city to grow.”
The Society remains cautiously optimistic that the Okura land will continue to be recognised as of “special value”.
The enormous community support has motivated the Society over more than 25 years to protect the marine reserve, the adjoining regional park and surrounding rural land from the effects of the city’s continuing expansion. “In the long term we hope there will be public access and expansion of the Long Bay Regional Park walkway into the Okura estuary,” said the Society’s acting convenor, Bruce Usher. “This area can only become increasingly important as a recreational amenity for the city.”