Thursday, March 8, 2012

Do we trust developers?

Rhetorical question - but there are instances when things may appear to have an up side.

Investigating recent Phillip Island housing developments I notice a trend among the proposals to include a sweetener for the existing community. I imagine this tends to get them through council easier. Over the last few years we have watched the Shearwater on the Island (developer's website) estate take shape.

The sweetener on this occasion? Wetlands and water treatment ....
Shearwater on the island embraced the concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design and has constructed a product that has broad reaching benefits for the Cowes community and the environment.
The outcome of this project is that the majority of stormwater generated in Cowes is now treated before entering the Rhyll Inlet. This provides an enormous net gain to the environment. Shearwater have invested more than $2 million in developing a wetland and retarding basin system that manages and treats a catchment area of 210 hectares, well beyond the requirements for the estate. The flows on effects are provision of a source of fresh water for irrigation of the Cowes Golf Club and improvement in water quality and reduction in flows to Rhyll Inlet.
It all sounds great! We've had a couple of decent wet seasons and the wetlands are looking good.

It has been interesting to see the types of bird attracted at different phases of the construction. Early on White-fronted chat and Black-fronted dotterel were conspicuous.

White-fronted chat (Epthianura albifrons)
10th April 2009
White-fronted chat (Epithianura albifrons)
10th April 2009
Black-fronted dotterel (Elseyornis melanops) were
present when there was much cleared soil and half-filled ponds
10th April 2009
Promotional image showing location, size &
proximity to Silverleaves Beach and Rhyll Inlet (top right) 

Three years after these pictures were taken some 20-30 houses have been built or commenced. There are signs of successful breeding in the wetlands.

The full impact on the local community and environment of the total 250 or so proposed dwellings will be interesting to observe.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post!
    We'll follow this through you input!
    It is very important to keep an eye on what is going on...
    Well done!