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State Significant Development


West Culburra Mixed Use Subdivision

Shoalhaven City

Current Status: Determination

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Assessment
  6. Recommendation
  7. Determination

The Applicant has appealed the IPC's refusal of the development in the Land and Environment Court, and has been granted leave to rely upon amended plans. Submissions received on the amended plans may be viewed under the 'Submissions 2' folder below.

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (1)

DGRs (1)

EA (66)

Submissions (17)

Agency Submissions (29)

Response to Submissions (21)

Additional Information (13)

Amendments (40)

Recommendation (1)

Determination (4)

Approved Documents

Other Documents (2)

Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.


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Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.


Showing 1 - 20 of 336 submissions
Rhonda Zoeller
VINCENTIA , New South Wales
This development has been proposed for many years. The township of Culburra Beach is struggling to sustain the local population with many businesses closing over the past few years. If there is not future development I am afraid that the town businesses will die. The young people in Culburra are having to leave town to find land to build and raise their own families. Some residents are opposed of the change because they want the area to stay the same and remain a quite village but this only serves their purposes. A responsible development which protects the environment, which I believe this one will, is greatly needed. I have been a resident of Culburra Beach for 39 years and was holidaying at Culburra for 13 years before that. I have personally owned 2 local businesses in Culburra Beach and know how soul destroying it can be to make a living during the quieter months without the permanent resident numbers being there to sustain these businesses. The closure of the Hardware at Culburra was a major blow. I raised my children in Culburra from birth and had to see them move out of the area to raise their families as they could not afford to buy a home and there was no land for sale. Thank you
Gale Burgess
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
We have lived in Culburra Beach since 1995. Over the years we have seen our village shops closing. We have been waiting for this project to be approved for so long now, watching while we wait only to see other village areas in the Shoalhaven given approvals to start building in their villages. This will mean so much for the community and create lots of job opportunities both on sites and also create new businesses.
Name Withheld
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
The town needs to expand and develop in order to thrive in the future.
Lucy Robertson
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
I would like to formally object to the amended concept proposal for ‘West Culburra’, currently under appeal in the Land & Environment Court by Sealark Pty Ltd.

While it is commendable that the proponent has reduced the size of the development and removed any construction from the sensitive Lake Wollumboola catchment, the size and quality of the proposal is still grossly inappropriate for valuable wetland and saltmarsh areas, bordering on the Crookhaven River.

It is also extremely disappointing that despite more than 10 years of trying to win major development approval in the area, the proponent is still presenting concept plans that do not meet high standards of sustainable building practice or design that aim to benefit the community beyond the immediate economic advantages of the landholder.

In that decade, Culburra Beach has continued to become a tourist ‘hot spot’ that tends to be overwhelmed in summer months with holidaymakers, seeing some long-time locals struggle to find appropriate housing. To this end, more sustainable residential housing is required in the area, but the scale and poor design standards of the Sealark proposal is an insult to both residents and visitors as it threatens the very ecology, culture and community it claims to serve.

My significant concerns about the amended ‘West Culburra’ development can be summarised as follows:

• Insufficient regard has been given to the cultural and heritage value of the Crookhaven river foreshore, where the proponent’s own archaeological study reported Aboriginal middens, artifacts and cultural sites that were regionally significant and of high cultural conservation value.

• Insufficient regard has been given to the ecological value of the uncleared bushland (comprising wetland, saltmarsh, eucalypt and sand forest) proposed for more than 300 residential homes. Sealark Pty Ltd already owns cleared land further along the Crookhaven River where future development plans would negate the need for wholesale land clearing as proposed in the amended concept. The Crookhaven River estuaries include large swathes of vulnerable mangrove forest, endangered saltmarsh communities, and fragile waterway that support our valuable oyster and seafood industry and should not be compromised by further development. The river system has already been stressed by recent fire and flood events, as well as increased tourism and fishing pressures, making further human impacts in these areas highly inappropriate.

• Requisite community consultation attempts have been characterised by bullying, misogyny and exclusion, with residents who speak against the development being verbally abused in front of their friends and families, and a male-dominated ‘old boys’ mentality pervading the local Progress Association and Business Chamber resulting in a view of ‘progress at any cost’ being incorrectly presented as a majority view from community. Key consultation meetings were also held at times that were incompatible with working residents, adding to the sense that consultation was not representative of the whole community.

• Consultation with Aboriginal residents, including JLALC, across the lengthy approval process has been grossly inadequate and culturally insensitive. Despite two Aboriginal representatives being consulted and paid for their opinions contained within the proponent’s own Aboriginal heritage survey in 2012, there has been limited attempts to consult in any meaningful way with indigenous living people on Jerrinja Wandi Wandian lands. Given the disproportionate long-term impacts of increased housing and tourism on Aboriginal people in the area, and the fact that there are several sites of significant Aboriginal cultural value in and around the proposed development site, the developer’s cursory approach to consultation with indigenous stakeholders is insulting to all residents.

• The building standards of 300+ proposed residences are far too low, with small block sizes, no retention of natural habitat or trees, and no consideration given to passive solar design or sustainable building principles. It is bewildering that, in 2021, a major development would be presented that does not incorporate best-practice design principles aimed at creating more sustainable living that is future focussed and environmentally responsible. However, the amended concept plan constains no evidence of such values, indicating that the primary concern of such a development is to line to pockets of landholders and developers, rather than to actually enhance the lifestyle or opportunities of the broader community.

• The proponent (Sealark Pty Ltd, formerly Realty Realizations, in partnership with the Halloran Trust) has a proven history of low-quality, large-scale mixed-use developments across the region that do very little to enhance their existing communities. For example, the ‘Bayswood estate’ at Vincentia involved wholesale destruction of valuable habitat alongside broken promises of late-stage community infrastructure. Similarly, their 400+ residential subdivision at Callala Bay is characterised by a low standard of construction and has not created the jobs or local opportunities that were originally promised. The unique ecosystems, environment, culture, and community in and around Culburra Beach is far too valuable to allow any development that is not of a sufficiently high environmental standard that provides sustainable and future-focussed opportunities for future generations. ‘West Culburra’ in its current form, does not offer any of these things.

I would therefore urge the court to uphold the Land & Environment Court’s decision to deny the West Culburra concept proposal despite Sealark’s most recent round of amendments.

This development, while smaller in scale, still does not pose sufficient benefit to the community in the long-term to warrant the significant environmental and cultural losses involved.

Thank you and regards,
Lucy Robertson (also on behalf of my two children, aged 5 and 8).
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Crown Lands
NEWCASTLE , New South Wales
Please see attached.
James Morton
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission in regards to the proposed development at "West Culburra".
I have some objections regarding what has been proposed. Although the size of the proposed development is far more in keeping with its surrounds than previously put forward I still believe this is too large. My main concerns however relate to the following:
• The style of subdivision,
• Environmental impacts, and
• The lack of building restrictions on the proposed lots.
All too often subdivisions throughout the Shoalhaven start with the clear felling of every tree within the development area. I understand trees need to be cleared in order to provide access roads, services and areas for a dwelling to be constructed. This should not mean that every tree within the subdivision requires removal. As many as possible mature trees should be retained to provide shade and habitat for fauna. The amount of trees should also be documented and replanted upon the site in already cleared areas and set aside as an area that cannot be further developed or cleared.
I strongly believe that the standard of construction should be lifted considerably from current standards. I am of the opinion this can be done by way of restrictions built in to the 88B instrument governing what can and cannot be utilised. The style and standard of residence need to be as self-sufficient as possible, be solar passive and most importantly designed around the block. Not just deciding to place a project style residence with set floor plans upon the parcel, rather utilising sun, shade and wind flow to maximise comfort and usability and reduce electricity needs. Not only would this provide a more ascetically appealing estate, but it would reduce running costs of the houses and the improved standards will reduce long term maintenance costs for the dwellings. In my opinion The Benton Sands estate at Callala Beach is the best example I can think of in the area. This is due to its restrictions on types of building and materials used, maximum lawn areas and minimum garden spaces. This all creates a far more appealing place to reside with houses designed around the blocks, many of which were designed by local draftsmen and architects and then built by local tradesmen.
At present, I acknowledge that there is a need for additional housing in Culburra and surrounds. The increase in population wishing to reside in these areas since COVID-19 hit in 2020 has emphasised this, along with investors looking for holiday houses. However instead of building more houses I believe a better solution would be to restrict short term accommodation such as Air BnB to some extent in the area. The influx of investors looking to make money from short term accommodation has meant a reduction in permanent rentals in the area which has created shortages of rental properties and forced some long term tenants to move elsewhere. If short term accommodation were subject to more restriction this may make it less appealing for investors seeking this form of income and a greater number of properties would be kept for long term accommodation.
In summary, if this development was completed to the highest of environmental standards, had high standards of construction and restrictions on what could be built and was seen to be a leading style of subdivision that could be used as a model for other subdivisions, I would find it hard to further object. In its most current form however, I feel as though much of this has not been considered.
Yours sincerely James Morton
Culburra Beach resident.
Name Withheld
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
I object to the proposal on the following grounds:
1) Insufficient infrastructure to support the increased population.
2) Increased traffic.
3) Assumptions made by local government representatives that the local population support the development.
4) Lack of declaration of conflict of interest by same.
5) Destruction of environmental assets.
6) Damage to Aboriginal heritage.
7) Increased purchase of blocks by investors causing less permanent population. The great increase in short term rental accommodation is causing significant problems in the community already.
Michael Lakeman
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
Culburra needs this urgently it requires an injection, a spark , modernity and a vision for sustainable growth for the inhabitants, the area and its youth to avoid issues related to unemployment , mental health, drugs and the associated violence and criminal activities that follow. Council and councillors need to think long and hard about stay as is versus build a sustainable community - it’s too easy to say no but brave and right to say yes.

This development needs to incorporate a concept for the old “eye soar “ shell service station that has now been left to rack n ruin for over 10 years

This surely is a sign that nobody is prepared to invest and improve it is a very poor entrance amd welcome to our town “

The only businesses thriving in culburra not local but national retail groups Woolworths and BWS -

Yet the “ community”bowling club, rapes residents and retirees through their massive poker machine and TAB revenue , yet entertainment such as Foxtelsports or movie nights lapses due to the costs !!!!really they don’t nothing for the whole fact rather than build netball or basket ball or tennis courts etc they built a bigger car park !! That remains empty most of the time. So much for a community mindset By the way I am a member

Restaurants open and close on a regular basis as their quality amd foot traffic runs down due to the lack of foot traffic out of the holiday season. We need more permanent residents

For the life of me I do not understand why people buy new homes in South Nowra , surely given the opportunity and availability they would rather live in Culburra and maybe one day we may have a high school - that’s sustainability surely

The hardware store has now been closed for over 2 years and is typical of the slow death of culburra

If left to those focused upon green space native flora and fauna the economy will continue to die a slow painful death ) it should be of interest to those on council that a once thriving restaurant - Littlle Snapper can’t attract any buyers, same goes for the hardware store as permanent residents continue to declining and the younger generation is unable to build a sustainable career or business within the local precinct as businesses close .

As we have witnessed with COVID 19 as important as prevention - the economy, mental health and well being is equally if not more important for a healthy environment
Name Withheld
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
To Whom it May Concern,

I firmly believe the West Culburra Development should proceed.
I have lived in Culburra Beach my whole life of nearly thirty years. I remember seeing the town grow and flourish, when many of the homes here were filled with permanent residents. Sadly, in recent years, this has declined.

It is widely understood that the decline in Culburra's resident numbers has been a result of the steady drop in affordable homes, or any homes at all. Culburra has become extremely popular with the nearby Sydney residents, who often purchase a property here as a holiday house, without living in it permanently.

This creates a few issues. Firstly, prices for homes in the town have risen dramatically, because the demand is high and the supply is low.

Secondly, and related to the first, this creates a town which has become ever-increasingly made up of empty holiday houses. The prices are too high for local residents to contend with, and the lack of availability makes it extremely difficult for people in the area to buy their own home. This lack of permanent residency creates a semi 'ghost town', in which local businesses can't survive and are forced to shut down, as we've seen with a number of cafe's and hospitality venues. This number decline has also reduced local employment, and propmoted an attitide of dismissal by authorities on much needed community infrastructure.

I firmly believe that this development, if filled with residents, will generate enough support to not merely keep businesses alive, but allow them to thrive, and give this once beautifully high-spirited town a chance to survive as well.

Name Withheld
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
I object to this project as I believe it will have a detrimental effect on the majority of permanent residents in the Culburra Beach area as well as a detrimental effect on the local environment.
Currently, the holiday periods are a nightmare for permanent residents with the sudden influx of a huge amount of tourists and I believe this will be made worse if this development is allowed to proceed.
I also believe this development would have a devastating impact on the sensitive ecology and local environment
Name Withheld
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
Please see attached.
John Wright
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
• . I am in favour of the subdivision going ahead and feel it is long overdue with delays and rejections more for political reasons rather than based on facts. In the last 25 years the population here has decreased by over 20% and the average age of residents increased by over 10 years. I doubt this has happened to any other town on the NSW coast. The residents who have left have been the working age families. Government decisions, made for political reasons to appease certain parts of the states electorate have meant there very limited work opportunities out in Culburra Beach resulting in high local unemployment and a migration of working age people out of the town.
• None of the subdivision is in the Lake Wollumboola catchment and so it should have no effect on the lake. I cannot see how studies into the lake say it is in pristine condition and has not been influenced by human activity but would have been by a subdivision even though virtually the whole catchment has been used for forestry and/or grazing for the last hundred years and for most of the last century raw sewage seeped from long drop toilets and open drains into the lake. The author of one of these studies didn’t even know that one of the main creeks draining into the lake was dammed for most of the last century until the dam wall collapsed due to it being riddled with rabbit burrows. I have a scientific background and some of these studies accepted as factual by Government agencies do not stand up to even the most cursory investigation.
• The development has numerous ponds to trap excessive runoff. These are likely to become a habitat for endangered species such as the green and Golden Bell frog. Provided they are properly maintained by Council this development with this modern run off control is unlikely to have any great detrimental effect on the Crookhaven and Shoalhaven Rivers. This is especially so when you consider the run off from Greenwell Point, Orient Point, parts of Culburra Beach, Shoalhaven Heads and Nowra that have little or no facilities to control stormwater runoff.
• I like the idea of the small blocks close to Canal Road, these blocks will suit elderly people and are close to the shops and medical center. The proposed plan seems to have completely neglected the opportunity to develop similar medium density housing on land adjacent to the current nursing home and retirement village. Small residences for retired people who need increased levels of care and assistance should be located there where they can make use of existing facilities and services.
• I think this development will decrease the risk of bush fires threatening the town. Due to the wide setbacks from Curleys Bay the proposed development is unlikely to be effected by flooding or rising sea levels.
• The Culburra Beach fire station is falling apart and in need of rebuilding. The temporary demountable police station which has been “temporarily” here for over 20 years should be replaced by a proper police station. The Marine Rescue base has limited storage at its base on Crookhaven Headland. The ambulance station which was built using funds raised by the community is very busy serviceing the surrounding district and needs more space. The surf club could probably use more facilities to store some of its equipment. There seems to be a lack of SES presence out here. I feel that included in the plan there should be a site for an Emergency Centre housing the various services. It could be on land near the current ambulance station. The services here service the surrounding Coastal villages so a centralized complex there could more efficiently service the whole district.
• There are a number of parks and sporting areas shown on the plan but little detail of what they would include. The town used to have squash courts but they were swallowed up by Woolworths. The town’s tennis courts are quite dilapidated. Many young people play basket ball or netball but the town has no facilities for these sports. A pool that could be used for learn to swim classes for school children and also for physiotherapy and aqua aerobics for the aging population would be a bonus for the town. Many of the elderly people who need this physiotherapy do not or can’t drive so having these facilities would be a great help to them.
• There should be provision for access to public toilets at the sporting facilities or in some other public space in the development.
• The cycleway/pathway linking the development to the town is a good idea. I am not sure how wide it is but it needs to be wide enough that mobility scooters can pass by each other. They are becoming increasingly common with the aging population. Culburra Beach is lacking in pathways forcing these machines onto the roads where they are often a traffic hazard. This development is likely to be most popular with retired people wishing to downsize. As this already elderly population ages mobility scooters will become increasingly common.
• Bus services to Culburra have more than halved in the last 25 years. Many elderly people rely on public busses to get to and from Nowra or the Bomaderry railway station. There needs be provision for bus shelters in the new subdivision to allow for pick up of residents many of whom will have limited mobility. School children who use busses to travel to schools in Nowra or the local public school also need to catered for. It is a pity the proposed High School which was supposed to be built near the roundabout to the subdivision seems to have disappeared from plans. I am a parent whose children have to catch busses to school in the dark each morning and return home as it is getting dark during the winter months and would welcome a local school. However I suppose with the great decrease in the number of working parents with school age children in the district any school will be well into the future.
• In your deliberations please consider the needs and wishes of the residents of Culburra Beach. Like most residents who choose to live outside the major population centers I am passionate about caring for the environment. However residents of Culburra Beach are tired of being a political scapegoat whose future is determined for political reasons to pander to the wishes of people who enjoy the facilities that are available in the big cities but don’t care if regional areas such as ours stagnate with high unemployment and a gross lack of facilities. We do not deserve to be treated as second class citizens.
Name Withheld
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
My opinion of the proposed West Culburra Beach development has changed completely over time. Previously, I emphatically objected to the development proposal as I believed that it would impact significantly on the local environment. I was particularly concerned about runoff into Lake Wollumboola and the Crookhaven River and the impact that this would have on flora and fauna and the local oyster industry. The reworked proposal that is currently being considered has addressed these concerns as it includes recycling of storm water and no water running from the development into the lake or river. I feel confident that the developers have seriously considered and addressed environmental factors. I also trust that the NSW Environment Protection Authority will diligently scrutinise this proposal and stop it if this is not the case.

I am one of a slowly dwindling number of permanent residents in Culburra Beach. Over 21 years I have seen businesses, services and people come and go with a significant overall reduction over time. Our town undoubtedly needs to expand its permanent population to pump life into our businesses and, therefore, into our town.

I am an Australian of Aboriginal descent. I appreciate that the developers of this proposal recognise the areas of cultural heritage that are along the Crookhaven River. I am pleased that, under this proposal, these sites will be respected and protected. I trust that the authorities which have the task of assessing this application will also ensure that this occurs.

This development has my full support as it will add to the life of my town and provide greater employment and lifestyle options. It will breathe life back into the Culburra Beach CBD without destroying our all-important oyster industry, flora and fauna and Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Name Withheld
Culburra Beach , New South Wales
I am in support of the West Culburra Development Proposal. My main concerns were environmental and those concerns appear to have been addressed. I'm pleased the main residential area will make little to no impact visually upon entering Culburra Beach and each building block will be required to have a higher than normal energy efficiency rating.. The increased permanent residency will have a positive impact on the town centre.
Peter Mulqueeny
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
Having owned my property in Culburra Beach for 33 yrs and lived here permanently for 10 years I feel that the proposed development at West Culburra Beach is vitally important for the future of the town for the following reasons:
1. Importantly the development, having been zoned for residential development since the early 1990's, is part of the Shoalhaven Council's Growth Management Strategy and is supported by the NSW Government's Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2036. The development is fully endorsed by the Shoalhaven City Council.
2. During construction the development will create building opportunities for local tradesman and in the long term bring economic support for the town and surrounding areas.
3. When completed the development will provide continued economic support for the town. This is vital as many local businesses, while financially ok during the holiday season, struggle during the long "off" season and we see regular business closures.
4. The mix of housing varieties and increase in the supply of land will provide more opportunities for first home buyers to get into the market as well as providing the option for current residents to downsize.
5. Protection for Lake Wollumboola water quality via the Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy results in a neutral or beneficial effect on downstream water quality.
Marie Mulqueeny
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
The proposed development fits well with the existing township and the network of footpaths and cycleways enables an active community benefitting all. Local employment is very important and the development will mean increased building activity and jobs for local tradesmen during construction as well as providing long term economic support to the town. Environmentally, the development having no impact on Lake Wollumboola and the high level of sustainable development outcomes is really important.
The site has been zoned for residential development since the 1990's and is part of the Council's Growth Management Strategy as well as being supported by the NSW Government's Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2036. The development has been fully endorsed by the Shoalhaven City Council. New parks, playing fields and open space recreation areas are much needed and will help to attract first home buyers and people looking for a "sea change".
Debra Carley
Orient Point , New South Wales
Myself & my family totally oppose to all of the recent plans. Culburra is a beautiful, quiet, little family town, which we would like it to stay that way! We don’t want our beautiful little town to be changed into a huge town. The reason most of us moved here in the first place, is that it so quiet, all that will be gone, if all these houses & units are to be built!! There are NO quiet little towns left on the coast anymore, our town will never be the same if this is allowed to go ahead! Culburra is chaos in holiday time, one smaller Woolworths store ( in holiday times, shop runs out of everything) a couple of take away shops, Chemist & a Post Office, small Public School, everyone just copes as we all know it’s only for the holiday season, & goes back to normal once the holidays are over. Nothing we have here will cope with such a permanent influx, it’s disgraceful to try to turn out quiet little town into such a big place, nothing & no one wants this & we don’t need this! My son went through school, then high school ( which is in Nowra) & is now married & has two sons going to school here. Leave our beautiful quiet town alone!
Lesley Robertson
MUDGEE , New South Wales
I strongly oppose this development for the following reasons:

1. This development involves large scale clear-felling of more that 43 hectares of old growth native bushland, which borders on the Crookhaven River and Curleys Bay. This bushland is one of the very few native vegetation areas that did not burn in last year's devastating bushfires on the South Coast, and needs to be conserved at all costs. It provides valuable habitat for several gliders, rock wallabies, microbats, frogs, black cockatoos, sea eagles, quolls and bandicoots, whose lives are already compromised by the bushfires, and further destruction of this habitat would be absolutely devastating for them.

2. There has been no consultation with the Jerrinja Aboriginal Community, the traditional owners of the land, and who are opposed to the development. There are many indigenous artefacts and middens of 'significant cultural value' which the developer plans to destroy. After what happened with Rio Tinto in WA last year, procedures have been put in place by the Federal government to prevent this happening again, so, to destroy 8,000 years of cultural heritage in this area, with a bulldozer, would be criminal.

3. This overdevelopment is inappropriate for a small coastal town like Culburra. There is only one road in and out of the town and to introduce high density housing on small blocks with over 400 badly designed residences with no infrastructure is ridiculous. There is nothing positive to gain from this development, except to the developers. Instead the potential negative impacts to the surrounding area are significant; especially to the coastal forest and wetlands, the delicate Crookhaven River catchment, the pristine Curleys Bay area with its valuable oyster farms, the habitat of rare and endangered native species and the delicate Culburra Beach environment.

4. The developer, SeaLark Pty Ltd, is well known for its ugly, crowded developments in Vincentia, St Georges Basin, Nowra and Callala Bay. They are also known for promising extras like community centres, aquatic centres, cycleways etc, which they never deliver. Don't let this happen again in beautiful Culburra. This developer is only interested in profits and in a time of climate change and global warming, a nasty, environmentally unsound development like this should be stopped on all counts.

Lesley Robertson
Justine Buckpitt
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales

The Department of Planning ,Industry and Environment
Attention:Patrick Copas
NSW Major Projects
GPO Box 39

Dear Mr Copas ,

I have lived in Culburra Beach for over 47 years and am very concerned about the size and scale of the proposed West Culburra mixed use development currently on exhibition.
Application number SSD 3846.

On behalf of my family, I would like to formally object to the amended proposal.
In particular, I believe the proposed development is totally unsuitable for the Culburra Beach area based on the main points summarised below:

— The proposal feels essentially like a bog standard ‘estate’-style development comprising medium- to high-density housing and 400 new residences that prioritises profits for the landholder and developer over all environmental or cultural considerations. This includes small block sizes (many less than 300m2), no passive solar design, low construction values, and no consideration of housing efficiency or lifestyle quality of future occupants. I also do not understand why the proposal has been designed around the existing sewerage treatment plant, with proposed residences all looking onto each other with no views, trees, yards or green spaces.

— The development would involve clear-felling of more than 42 hectares of old-growth native bushland on the road leading into Culburra Beach, and bordering the Crookhaven River estuary. This bushland was some of the only native vegetation that did not burn in the devastating South Coast bushfires last year and forms a valuable habitat corridor to our sensitive coastal environments. The local oyster and fishing industries situated on the Crookhaven River has been outspoken about their concerns that this development would have on water quality in what is already one of the “most impacted river systems in Australia”. I also question why the landowner (Sealark Pty Ltd) wants to clear native bushland when it owns other nearby land parcels that are already cleared. I am deeply concerned about the continued loss of native habitat and vulnerable species in the wholesale clearing of land for large-scale development as proposed.

— No consultation with traditional land owners from nearby Jerrinja Aboriginal Community has been undertaken. The proponent’s own cultural heritage survey found indigenous artefacts and middens of “significant cultural heritage value” dating back more than 8,000 years but the developer still plans to destroy these sites without any consultation with local community or consideration of ongoing cultural impacts. I have spoken with many local elders about this development and their dismay at the proposal, and the fact that no meaningful consultation has occurred, has been very upsetting to me and my family.

— Developers have promised a raft of community infrastructure ‘improvements’ in the final stages of the proposal, including a rockpool, cycleway, High School and indoor aquatic centre, but no guarantees to ever deliver these have been made. The same team of developers have made similar assurances to get dodgy developments approved in nearby villages of Vincentia, St Georges Basin, Nowra and Callala Bay, but none have ever eventuated… the developer’s proven track record of broken promises should be a stark warning to the Culburra community and evidence of their purely commercial incentives, but empty promises of community improvements continue to be made to residents in a way that is seriously unethical, misleading and divisive.

— Large-scale housing developments in an age of climate change and global warming should be held to the highest standards of environmental design and sustainable building practice, however this is far from the case in this proposal. In fact, it is questionable that any further major development of sensitive coastal areas should be approved given what we know about human impacts on climate change, let alone ones that compromise multiple river catchments, rare native habitat and areas of high ecological value.

Thank you for the opportunity to raise my concerns about the amended proposal for West Culburra and I urge you to reject this unsustainable and completely unsuitable development in its entirety.

Justine Buckpitt (and family)
Jill Trotter
CULBURRA BEACH , New South Wales
Main objections.
Size and type of development is unsuitable for a small town with one road in and out this already being a problem before massive development. Forced evacuations during bushfires would be extremely difficult and access for emergency vehicles extremely difficult and or impossible.
This development will negatively impact Aboriginal cultural heritage sites and the oyster and fishing and tourism industries at Crookhaven on the river and surrounds.
Clearing of land untouched for 80 years would mean less wildlife habitat in an area so close to previous fires and displaced wildlife.
Culburra is extremely busy already for most of the year . Our drainage and facilities will not cope with this size of development.
What has happened to cycleways and tourist walkways etc in the first submission?
Where are there affordable housing areas in these new housing lots? Culburra is already having issues with locals unable to afford rentals or find rentals.
Where are sustainable eco dwellings or tourist facilities? What happened to the tourist facilities, cafes restaurants etc in the first submission?
Why no pool or water park etc? Culburra has no such facilities.
A development of this size and type completely changes one of the few remaining coastal towns of this type on the south coast. The character and culture will be altered


Project Details

Application Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Residential & Commercial
Local Government Areas
Shoalhaven City
Determination Date

Contact Planner

Patrick Copas