Heritage Estates, Worrowing Heights (updated 24 August 2016)

Planning & tenure resolution update

The Heritage Estates Planning Proposal (PP) to rezone the land to E2 - Environmental Conservation has been finalised in accordance with Council's resolution on 29 July 2014 (MIN14.487).  Amendment No. 4 to the Shoalhaven Local Environmental Plan 2014 (SLEP 2014) was notified and commenced on 24 June 2016. 

The amendment rezoned the ‘Heritage Estates’ (excluding Lot 8 DP 8771 and Lot 1768 DP 28785) to E2 Environmental Conservation and applied Clause 5.9 ‘Presentation of Trees or vegetation’ to the land. This completed a process that commenced in 2013, but was delayed until the resolution of the legal challenges related to the Heritage Estates (see below).

In 2012, the Australian Government allocated $5,493,400 to assist with resolving the tenure of the Heritage Estates.  The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has managed the Voluntary Heritage Estates Land Purchase (HELP) project and has a dedicated website which can be accessed from the Foundation's website: http://www.fnpw.org.au/ The HELP project was originally funded to 30 June 2013 but was subsequently extended to 31 December 2014.  At 24 August 2014, the Foundation had received offers to purchase 522 lots under the Voluntary HELP project.

The Australian Government is considering a further extension to the Voluntary HELP project and will provide advice in due course. Landowners wishing to sell their land should check the Foundation’s website regarding potential continuation of the Project. 

On 17 November 2015, the Federal Court dismissed the appeal lodged by representatives of the Heritage Estates landowner class action.The Court made the following orders:

  1. The Appeal be dismissed with costs.
  2. The application for an extension of time for leave to appeal be dismissed with costs.

 The full judgement can be viewed at: http://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/full/2015/2015fcafc0160

The Claimant applied for special leave to appeal this decision to the High Court. On 5 May 2016, the High Court dismissed the application with costs.  The High Court's notice can be accessed at: http://www.hcourt.gov.au/registry/special-leave-applications-results-2016

Installation of gates and barriers

In 2016, Council approved the installation of gates and barriers under section 118 of the Roads Act 1993 to protect water quality in St Georges Basin and prevent further land degradation caused by vehicles and trail bikes.  Links to the relevant Council reports and resolutions are provided below. Staff are in the process of implementing resolutions MIN16.456 and MIN16.278.

Report Resolution
Report to Strategy & Assets Committee 14 June 2016 MIN16.456
Report to Strategy & Assets Committee 12 April 2016 MIN16.278
Report to Strategy & Assets Committee 19 January 2016 MIN16.13
Report to Policy & Resources Committee 8 September 2015 D15/266117

2009 Ministerial Decision

On 13 March 2009, the then Federal Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett AM refused Council’s proposed rezoning and associated public works to facilitate residential development at the "Heritage Estates", Worrowing Heights under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999, due to its impact on threatened species and Commonwealth land (Booderee National Park). Further information on this decision is accessible at the following links:

Background Information

Other information on the "Heritage Estates" is available below:

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