NOT HAPPY: Paul Pierlot, inset, was stunned to find half his beachfront backyard at Sapphire, above, is earmarked to become category 4 in the Priority Habitats and Corridors Strategy.
NOT HAPPY: Paul Pierlot, inset, was stunned to find half his beachfront backyard at Sapphire, above, is earmarked to become category 4 in the Priority Habitats and Corridors Strategy.

Hard residential PHACS

PAUL Pierlot found it hard to get to sleep on Thursday night and by yesterday the local businessman was seething.

What had made him restless and angry was the chance discovery that his beachfront property in Sapphire was affected by the Coffs Harbour City Council’s Draft Priority Habitats and Corridors Strategy.”

I was talking to a neighbour who has a rural property when he asked me whether I realised properties in Sapphire Crescent were also impacted by the strategy,” Mr Pierlot said.

“I just thought it was only about rural properties. At no time had council indicated that their strategy also included beachfront land,” he said.

“Submissions close on Sunday and here I am trying to work out what it all means, how it will affect me and how I go about telling council I’m not happy.”

Mr Pierlot said from his investigations about half his residential block which backs onto the dunes at Sapphire is earmarked in the strategy to be category 4 environmental living.

“What does that mean?” Mr Pierlot asked yesterday.

“Does it mean I will have to pull down the shed which is already there?

“I rang council but the woman who I was put through to couldn’t tell me what any of it meant or how it would affect me in the future.”

But what has upset Mr Pierlot the most was that had he not spoken to his neighbour he would have remained unaware.

“They can find me when they want me to pay rates so why couldn’t council have mailed me something saying I needed to look at the strategy. Council staff knows very well who will be affected but they decided not to let me know. I think it is an entirely underhand thing to have not done anything to alert us,” he said.

Mr Pierlot said he has since spoken to other property owners in Sapphire Crescent about the issue.

“None of them had any idea their land was affected by the draft strategy. It is outrageous for the council not to have contacted us.” he said.

“I can’t help but wonder whether other people who live in urban and beachfront areas realise it’s not just farmland that is included.”

A media spokesperson for Coffs Harbour City Council said the draft strategy was never limited to rural lands and covered the entire LGA.

She said submissions would be accepted until tomorrow via fax or via email, coffs.council@chcc.nsw.gov.au.



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