The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has made 15 recommendations in its environmental impact assessment of Defence Housing Australia’s Lee Point master-planned urban development.

The proposal is a master-planned urban development near Lyons and Muirhead to provide new housing for approximately 3000 residents; tourist, recreation and commercial components, including approximately 200–300 room tourist accommodation and commercial and retail businesses; and services, community purpose and open space.

NT EPA Chairman, Dr Paul Vogel, said the NT EPA identified potentially significant environmental impacts and risks associated with the proposed development, and made recommendations to avoid and mitigate these.

This includes the proponent ensuring that a caution notice is lodged with the Registrar General under Section 34 of the Land Title Act for all lots within a 1.7km buffer from the Leanyer Sanderson Wastewater Treatment Facility, to notify potential developers and landholders that the lot:

  • Occurs within the identified odour buffer for the Leanyer Sanderson Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • May be subject to occasional odours associated with the operation of the Leanyer Sanderson Wastewater Treatment Plant

Another key recommendation is that the responsible minister should include a condition on future development permit(s) requiring the proponent ensure any lots in Muirhead North within the biting insect buffer have a minimum area of 4000sqm and cannot ever be subdivided.

The proponent must also ensure that a caution notice is lodged for these lots indicating that the lot occurs within the biting insect buffer, and that it is subject to seasonal mosquito and biting midge pest problems arising from the adjacent mangroves of Buffalo Creek and tidal marshes and mangroves in Leanyer Swamp.

The NT EPA found that the potential impacts to the natural values of Casuarina Coastal Reserve, including monsoon rainforest, nesting marine turtles and migratory shorebirds, could be mitigated.

“The NT EPA considers that this Assessment Report provides a sound basis for the Proposal to proceed in a manner in which environmental impacts are maintained within acceptable limits,” Dr Vogel said.

“Not only will the environmental commitments, safeguards and recommendations detailed in the EIS, Assessment Report and final management plans need to be implemented, the Proponent will be required to monitor the performance of safeguards against objectives to ensure that this information informs design and management of future stages.”

The NT EPA has provided its assessment report to the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources for consideration.

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