Residents and the Millicent Field Naturalists Society are opposed to a consultant’s suggestion that a large scrub block on the outskirts of Millicent be used for housing.
Measuring a few hectares, the Crown land at the northern end of Matheson Road has long been earmarked as a cemetery site.
However, the consultants who have prepared Wattle Range Council’s 25-Year Strategic Land Use Plan – Opportunities and Constraints report suggest Matheson Road as one of a number of areas which have the potential for residential development.
Their report sets out some key ideas on how the Wattle Range Council region should develop, whether it be future land use, environmental protection, or community infrastructure and services such as walking and cycling facilities, parks, healthcare, or education.
Consultants Holmes Dyer facilitated a number of face-to-face community engagement sessions across the region in recent weeks.
Matheson Road resident Sue Correll was among the 25 interested persons who attended the 45-minute public presentation in the supper room of the Millicent War Memorial Civic and Arts Centre.
Having lived on Matheson Road since 1976, she is vehemently opposed to housing on the scrub block.
“It is the last piece of remnant native vegetation in Millicent and so why destroy it?” Ms Correll said.
“The block is home to echidnas and wallabies and many types of birds.
“Our boys would ride their bikes through there and the block has walking trails as well.
“Surely there are other vacant areas of land for housing in Millicent such as the former rail lands.”
Similar views about the Matheson Road scrub block have been expressed in the public domain by the Millicent Field Naturalists Society.
Stephen Holmes of Adelaide consultancy firm Holmes Dyer told The SE Voice that he was well aware of the opposition to any housing on the Matheson Road scrub block.
“We have taken several responses from people who want to retain that vegetation in Matheson Road,” Mr Holmes said.
“In all, we spoke to around 60 people across the four sessions in Millicent, Penola and Beachport.
“This has really helped us to build a picture of what areas we need to examine more closely in the next phase where we prepare a draft report.
“Landowners and residents are encouraged to provide their thoughts on the Opportunities and Constraints report, to ensure it is based on sound information.
“We remain keen to hear from the community and encourage everyone to either complete the survey on the Wattle Range Council website, or to email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions.”
The current phase of community consultation closed on March 23.
Feedback received will be presented in the draft 25-Year Strategic Land Use Plan, on which Wattle Range Council will seek further comment and input from the community before it is adopted.