Singleton Council's green light to finalise subdivision paves the way for future landuse disputes

Have we learnt nothing from the battles at Bulga where we see residents fighting against mine expansions?

It would appear not with Singleton Council, at its last meeting, supporting the finalisation of a planning proposal for a new residential subdivision located on the boundary of Bloomfield’s Rix’s Creek open cut coal mine.

The site adjoins the northern boundary of the Pinnacle Estate and west of the site is the Great Northern Railway line and Rix’s Creek mine land.

Given the long history of residents not only in Bulga but also in Camberwell, Warkworth, Jerrys Plains, Broke and even years ago in Glendon Brook arguing against mines operating close by to their homes why on earth would Council think its a good idea to allow a subdivision next to an existing open cut mine.

Bulga is the prime example of the likely issues that will occur should homemakers in this subdivision discover that mines are noisy and dusty neighbours.

Large open cut mines are big industrial sites, most operated 24/7, and many people opposed to their expansion reckon a 10 kilometre buffer zone is required to protect residents from their impacts.

So now we have a subdivision 400 metres from an existing mine’s boundary. The only compromise was the decision to make the land bordering the mine being zoned as R5 large residential meaning the minimum size would be one hectare.

 A move designed to potentially limit the number of future residents impacted by the mine. 

Well done to Councillors Sarah Lukeman and Sue George who objected to the proposal as they appear to understand the potential problems from developing housing so close to a mine. 

Do the other Councillors forget all the issues, that have been and will continue to raised, by residents each and every time a mine either submits an expansion plan or a new mine is proposed.

Why create a problem when one currently does not exist. We understand the case of buyer beware but surely neither future residents or Bloomfield need the angst that could arise when homes are built on the mine’s boundary.

Perhaps the Council should include a special note with every development application advising owners of potential issues that come from living near an open cut.