Fight over Iluka site

DETERMINED: David Connolly recently submitted a petition to save Iluka Reserve to MP Gareth Ward with around 500 signatures, an online version has 184 signatures.

DETERMINED: David Connolly recently submitted a petition to save Iluka Reserve to MP Gareth Ward with around 500 signatures, an online version has 184 signatures.

Kiama Council’s plan to sell a large section of Iluka Reserve at Kiama Downs is still a contentious issue among residents who claim the 1.8 hectare site located on the eastern side of Riverside Drive should be retained as open space. 

Kiama Downs resident David Connolly described council’s decision to rezone the land from RE1 Public Recreation to R2 Low Density Residential as a “one hit financial wonder”.

“I don’t understand why they want to get rid of it,” he said.

“With the quarry redevelopment coming, this will mean a large amount of green space has been removed, resulting in an intensification of use on what little is left.

“Which reserve gets sold next? It's a financial loser from the start.”

Mr Connolly said council was “condemning our children to pay off the servicing etc of this forever”. 

He said the Iluka Reserve site was once used as an unregulated builders dumping ground and there were fears it contained asbestos.

“It was an uncontrolled builders’ tip for 20 or 30 years until the end of the 1970s early 1980s. That’s what builders did in those days,” he said.

Kiama Council has proposed the land would be suitable for nine residential lots and open space for the remainder of the reserve to meet community needs for recreation activities. 

Soil samples were taken from the site in April 2016, with 11 sent to an environmental consultant for analysis, no asbestos was detected  in the proposed residential area. 

Kiama Municipal Council director environmental services Phil Costello said council had carried out comprehensive testing to identify any contamination.

“This being the case, we would not expect to encounter further issues, however, if we did, we would deal with them in accordance with required standards and methodology,” he said.

“Cost of any such event could only be estimated based on known data, for example type and extent of contamination, thus no estimate could be made.

“The proposal has been granted ‘gateway’ by the Department of Planning and we expect it will be exhibited/publicly consulted during June.”

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