Residents became aware of a proposed 11 lot luxury gated subdivision at the base of Earl Hill in Trinity Beach, when a real estate ad appeared in January 2022 in the Cairns Post. Further investigation unearthed a 2019 development approval that had never been to Council, to other agencies or to the local community for consultation. Council staff approved the development under the superseded 2009 CairnsPlan instead of the 2016 Plan, under which it would be impact assessable.
The rainforest area in question is a wildlife habitat, refuge and corridor with many species of native flora and fauna, including very large trees. (The approval requires removal of mango trees on the site, which are very large and provide sites for flying fox roosting). The steep site contains a stream providing drainage from Earl Hill. The 8.4 acre site is located in the environment management zone, in which a subdivision is generally not regarded as supported development. The development will significantly impact the amenity and privacy of neighbouring properties. The site also has Hillslope and Landscape values. It is mapped in a Significant Vegetation precinct and has high ecological significance.
It is of major concern that this development has been given approval under these circumstances. Local residents have only now become aware of this proposal and have written to the State member and local Cairns Councillor seeking action to rectify this situation, so far without success (February 2022).
Contact: Russell family, Trinidad Close, Trinity Beach (firstname.lastname@example.org)