A group of residents feel a proposed development on a small parcel of land south of Ulladulla is inappropriate to be part of the gateway to the town.
They have many issues with this proposed high-density development comprising 49 two and three-bedroom manufactured homes on a small parcel of land at south Ulladulla on the Princes Highway at the entrance to the South Pacific Estate near Racecourse Beach.
Derek Fraser, Anta Supomo and Bridgette Durand are the spokespeople for the residents.
"We look at this development and it's not going to enhance Ulladulla - it will probably detract from Ulladulla," Mr Fraser said.
"Right at the gateway, you are going to have 49 manufactured homes on a very small parcel of land.
"You will be taking paddocks and you will be going to plonk in high-density dwellings between two low-density residential areas here and at Rennies Beach.
"It's inevitable that the site will be redeveloped at some point in time so why not do something that is aesthetically good and sustainable."
Mr Supomo said they are not against development.
"Areas have to be developed, but we would like to see the land developed in an environmentally sustainable way - in a way that promotes the environment for what it is," Mr Supomo said.
"We know it has got to be developed and it should be developed - it's prime land.
"However, we need to make the town inviting for people to live and visit here."
Mr Supomo suggested villas or townhouses would be better suited for the land and more compatible with the neighbouring area.
Ms Durand said she, like the others, understands that development has to happen.
"However, it's just the size and the amount of these developments that are the concern," she said.
She said the population in the South Pacific Estate area would increase by 25 per cent which she does not think is sustainable.
"I am thinking about having a family and I love this area and I just want to have developments that match what is already here - ones that positively impacts the environment," she said.
"We are moving into a world where we should be looking at sustainable housing.
"It's not just people living in the area saying 'not in our backyard' - it's other people in the community raising concerns as well."
More traffic on the roads with associated issues, like pedestrian safety, was another point Ms Durand raised.
Mr Fraser has written to all Shoalhaven City councillors and Patricia White was the only councillor who responded.
The limited response disappointed him.
He did appreciate the time and advice Cr White offered.
She suggested they stage a residents' meeting with all the Ward Three councillors towards the end of October which they intend to do.
At this stage they do not know when the development will be called into council - it could be later this year or early next year.
Work on the proposal started in 2019 and a revised application was lodged this year.
However, the residents do not think the revisions have gone far enough and they raise the following points:
This proposed high density development is to be located at the southern gateway to Ulladulla, a short distance from the welcoming Ulladulla sculpture. The aesthetics of any development located in such a prominent position when viewed from the highway should be appealing and invite tourists to stop in Ulladulla and patronise local businesses. Ulladulla is competing with every other coastal town to attract tourists dollars. The sight of this proposed development would motivate people to keep driving north to another coastal town.
South Ulladulla already has four high density low cost housing developments, we do not need another. The existing high density housing developments replaced previously long-established caravan parks and as a result do not represent a significant change to the character of the existing land usage. The proposed development is a new greenfields development situated on paddocks used for grazing livestock.
This proposed high density development is inconsistent and incompatible with the adjoining South Pacific Estate residential area and the Rennie's Beach residential area immediately to the north, effectively placing a high density development between two low density residential areas of Ulladulla.
The South Pacific Estate residential area is a designated bushfire prone area with a single connector road (Pitman Ave) as the only exit onto the Princes Hwy and safety. The proposed development could potentially house an additional 150 - 200 people with the only exit being onto Pitman Ave. As demonstrated during last summer's bushfire emergency, the existing residents of South Pacific Estate struggled to exit from Pitman Ave onto the Princes Hwy owing to the constant queue of slow moving traffic heading north past the Pitman Ave / Princes Hwy intersection as a result of ordered evacuations further south. Any required evacuation of existing residents of South Pacific Estate will be exacerbated by the additional influx of people should this proposed high density development be approved, putting residents lives in danger.
The proposed development has inadequate off-street parking with only one car space per manufactured home. The inevitable overflow of cars, boats and trailers will clog local streets and represents a significant risk to pedestrian safety, with children and the elderly likely becoming unseen victims when attempting to cross local streets. Additionally, the resultant narrowing of access on local streets caused by parked vehicles will be a major obstacle to navigate for regular local services such as garbage collection and the school bus service.
The danger to existing residents resulting from the inability to safely evacuate from South Pacific Estate would be quadrupled should the site immediately to the north of the Groundswell Church be developed as a high density development without highway access, thereby putting more traffic on an already clogged Pitman Ave as the only exit.
The logical solution would be a medium density residential development comprising either villas, townhouses or duplexes. This may require a change in zoning from commercial / caravan park to residential similar to recent zoning changes in Ulladulla / Mollymook to facilitate medium density residential development. This style of development would complement the existing South Pacific Estate and Rennie's Beach residential areas as well as providing the opportunity of affordable housing for young home buyers. Given the choice, it is considered unlikely that young home buyers would want to enter into a standard 25 year caravan park lease for a manufactured home; and given the choice equally less likely that financial institutions would lend money to fund a 25 year lease agreement in preference to mortgage lending against a villa, townhouse or duplex.
With the impending sale of the Budget Trees building and block between the Church and the Ex-Servos. The block is zoned similarly to the Horse Paddocks, so there is a likelihood of a Developer doing a similar development, if the first development goes through. This could lead the Church to sell their block, which could mean the whole strip of land for Pitman to the Ex -Servos be covered with gray box cabins.