John Cornell and Delvene Delaney, pictured at the opening of the Byron Regional Sporting and Cultural Complex.
John Cornell and Delvene Delaney, pictured at the opening of the Byron Regional Sporting and Cultural Complex. Jay Cronan

Cornell's big plans for Ewingsdale

AUSTRALIAN TV icons John Cornell and Delvene Delaney are behind plans to create a massive subdivision in Ewingsdale.

The proposed Figtree Fields subdivision would create 41 rural residential allotments with front- age onto Parkway Drive, McGettigans Lane and St Helena Rd.

Australians remember Ms Delaney for her role as a recurring cast member on The Paul Hogan Show, while Mr Cornell also starred on the program as Strop, a dim-witted Aussie surf lifesaver.

Mr Cornell purchased the Ewingsdale property in 43 one-acre lots in the 1980s so he could preserve his views from the top of St Helena Rd.

It was identified as suitable for subdivision in 1988 and there were rumours at the time that Mr Cornell and Paul Hogan would spend $20 million developing the area.

A development application, including an Environmental Effects Statement (EES), has now been lodged with Byron Shire Council.

The EES states that a new road is required off Parkway Drive to provide access to the subdivision and 26 trees will need to be removed.

The application includes plans to plant more than 5000 littoral rainforest trees in May 2012 and it is claimed the design has beenaltered to "minimise the removal of native vegetation".

During the EES six vulnerable species were identified on the proposed subdivision, including the bush hen, the white-eared monarch, the grey-headed flying fox, the little bent-wing bat, the eastern long-eared bat and the koala. Dogs and cats will not be permitted in the development in order to minimise impact on this native fauna.

In its favour the development application states it will "increase the housing options available in Byron Shire".

However a local resident, who did not wish to be named, said it would impact negatively on Ewingsdale.

"Forty lots means approximately 80 cars turning right and left into Ewingsdale Rd and consequently more traffic issues going into Byron and more pot holes created by cars," the resident said.

"This should be a public debate involving all the residents in Ewingsdale and Byron and not those that get notification because they live abut the proposed site."

The development application is on display at the council office in Mullumbimby, with the exhibition period closing on March 7 2012.



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