STOPWORK: Council probes clearing amid koala fears
RESIDENTS have vowed to fight the planned development of the Woombah Woods Caravan Park.
Clarence Valley Council was forced to issue a stop-work notice to the owner of the park on Tuesday last week after a number of trees were cleared on the property.
Emma Mills, who lives next to the caravan park, said she was devastated to learn a large number of trees on the eastern side of the park had been removed.
"We're concerned over the manner of clearing, the destruction of natural habitat and the loss of the natural feel of Woombah," she said.
"We are also worried that the owner will continue with land clearing regardless of anything that council does. We're literally on watch to call them if we hear or see anything. The clearing started without any regard to rules, regulations or the Woombah community."
Ms Mills said she was also concerned about the loss of wildlife habitat, especially for a local koala population.
Woombah Residents Association president Kerry Wilsmore said the association was opposed to the development.
Mr Wilsmore said the association's vision was to maintain a bushland setting and ensure that the diverse flora and fauna were protected from overdevelopment.
"We will advocate on any issues that may have an undesirable impact on the future of Woombah as a clean, healthy, safe, natural environment," he said.
Woombah Woods owner William Hu claimed a development application from 1984 permitted the expansion of the park. He said he wanted to attract interstate and overseas tourists.
Mr Hu said he planned to clear all trees from the site to make way for an additional 30 cabins.
Clarence Valley Council director of environment, planning and community Des Schroder said council was investigating the tree clearing.
"The owner has been advised to cease works until the investigation is finished," he said.
"The owner has agreed to this and it is council's understanding equipment used to remove trees has been taken away from the site. Council has not ignored, nor is it currently ignoring, any responsibility to ensure the owner complies with necessary requirements.''
Council would not comment on a 1984 development application for the caravan park.