Wallum Fact Sheet
This fact sheet outlines key information about Clarence Property’s Wallum community – including development approvals, environment and habitat management, wallum froglet protection, and public amenity and access.
Development Approval and Timeline
- Publicly available historical aerial imagery from the NSW State Government shows that the Wallum site and surrounding land has been clear since at least the 1950s and has been maintained in its current state ever since. The imagery shows almost all vegetation within the development area is regrowth and not remnant vegetation. The land on which the development is proposed was zoned ‘residential’ under both the Byron Local Environmental Plan 1988 and the updated LEP of 2014.
- The original Concept Plan for the Wallum site was lodged by the site’s previous owner Codlea Pty Ltd and received approval from State Government in 2013. Stage 1 of that Concept Plan approval was subsequently constructed by Codlea (the neighbouring Bayside Brunswick residential estate). Clarence Property acquired the site from Codlea in 2021 and lodged an amended proposal for the remainder of the site, which was approved by the State Government’s Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) following extensive community consultation. This project is not a ‘zombie DA’ and has been continually worked on since Concept Plan approval was first received in 2013.
- Clarence Property’s amended Concept Plan reduces the amount of developed land from 17.3 hectares to 12.3 hectares, retaining 18 hectares – or 60 per cent of the site – for flora and fauna habitats and existing vegetation, including the protection, extension and enhancement of wallum froglet habitat.
- ClarenceProperty initiated community consultation prior to the lodgement of the development application for its Wallum masterplan. The consultation program included an onsite event on 29 May 2021 which was attended by approximately 40 local residents. This was advertised via site signage, online, quarter page newspaper advertisement in the Byron Shire Echo and letterbox drop. There were no Covid-19 restrictions in place preventing attendance at the consultation event.
- Once the development application was lodged, Byron Shire Council commenced its public exhibition process from 7 October to 3 November 2021, including newspaper notice, online information, letters to adjoining and surrounding landowners, notice to community members and site signage.
Landscape Management – Tree Removal and Retention; Native Species Management
- Management of vegetation is guided by Australian Wetland Consulting (AWC), who have been working on the Wallum site since it was originally approved for development in 2013.
- Retention of trees on site is guided by a Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) developed by AWC. The highest quality habitats on the site are to the eastern and western extents of the site and these are being retained as conservation areas.
- Clarence Property also revised the design of Wallum to avoid the need to clear approximately 3,000sqm of forest vegetation on the land to the south, which would have been cleared under the previous designs.
- The Concept Approval process saw proactive engagement with local organisations with cultural heritage interests and worked with them to identify any trees or artefacts of significance. The consultation process was open to any and all Indigenous persons or representative groups. Both main local Indigenous bodies responded to invitations to inspect the site and following those inspections, it was documented within the agreed report that, “There are no issues in regard to items or places of historic heritage significance within the Subject Lands to be addressed”.
- Prior to the Subdivision Works Certificate approval by Byron Shire Council, Council engaged their own independent ecologist to review the ecological report, who confirmed that all conditions of consent had been fully addressed.
- Clarence Property have also had extensive investigations into the impacts of the development prepared by their ecological consultants. These investigations have been peer reviewed by no fewer than three further independent ecologists, who all agree there are no impacts on threatened species which require further assessment than has already been completed.
Native Wildlife Protection (Koalas and Habitat Management)
- In the Wallum community, 50 hollows will be created to offset the expected loss of 20 hollows within existing trees. Hollows identified within scribbly gums marked for removal are unsuitable breeding habitat for the glossy black cockatoo, due to being too close to the ground.
- Independent studies have shown that correctly installed man-made hollows are highly effective, with cameras showing a near 100% investigation rate, and fauna investigating or using the hollows within hours of creation.
- BioNet records provided by the Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) have determined the Wallum site is unlikely to be frequented by koalas. The removal of 21 secondary koala food trees will be offset in a conservation corridor on site at a 2:1 ratio, resulting in a gain in food trees in the long term. Numerous koala food trees will be retained within residential zoned land, in addition to the 13-hectare eastern conservation area.
- Clarence Property will retain and enhance approximately 2.6ha of high-quality wallum froglet habitat, providing foraging, breeding and sheltering areas for wallum froglets on the eastern and western extents of the site. Such habitats are not ‘experimental’ and in fact are a well established and recognised method of habitat creation with a long demonstrated record of success across both private sector and government agency projects.
- A Wallum Froglet Management Plan (WFMP) will be administered by Australian Wetland Consulting (AWC), which has extensive experience and documented success in creating and managing wallum froglet habitats in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
Landscape Management (Soil Testing, Flood Mitigation)
- Multiple assessments at the Wallum development site, in accordance with the legislated Acid Sulphate Soils Manual (Stone et al., 1998), have concluded that Acid Sulphate Soils are not present at the site. Speculation to the contrary based on broad-scale Council maps is demonstrably false and misleading.
- The Wallum site has never been known to flood and was not the subject of flooding in the unprecedented regional flood event of 2022. Clarence Property has completed extensive research into flood levels on site and the lowest level of the lowest lot is 940mm above the 1 in 100-year flood level, and 440mm above the Probable Maximum Flood level.
Sales and Public Amenity / Access
- The Wallum site has been private property for many decades and should not be accessed by the general public.
- Upon completion of Wallum, Clarence Property will deliver public access to the creek, along with a walking trail, taking in public artwork installations and educational signage.
- Local buyers were offered the first opportunity to purchase in Wallum, following receipt of Development Approval in May 2023. To date, 19 homesites in Wallum have sold to purchasers, all of whom are from the Northern Rivers.
- Homesites in Wallum have been sold to local purchasers from $690,000, with a four bedroom new home able to be built from about $350,000 (based on pricing from our builder partners). This means buyers could be in a brand new home at Wallum from $1.04 million plus stamp duty. This is 35 per cent below the median house price for Brunswick Heads of $1.65 million, at a time when the local housing crisis is escalating in tandem with continued local population growth.
(Source: realestate.com.au, correct as at February 2024).
- The release of new land is welcome news for many young families as demand continues to outpace supply. The Wallum community – which is the only already-zoned and approved Brunswick Heads residential site included as part of Byron Shire Council’s Future Housing Strategy – is a key project in helping address the problem.
Wallum is a certified EnviroDevelopment.
EnviroDevelopment certification recognises development projects of all types (including residential projects) that achieve outstanding sustainability outcomes in the areas of ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water and community.
Find Out More
Please contact our Community Engagement Team by email via the link below, if you have any questions that are not addressed in this information.
You can also read more below about how Wallum is a key part of the solution to Byron Shire’s current housing supply crisis. For all other information, including details on upcoming land releases, register for email updates via the link below (or save the Wallum phone number at the top of this page):
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