Workers downed tools and left the Bellwood site

There were dramatic scenes at Bellwood last week when bulldozers began clearing undergrowth along the boundary between the Bellwood mission and the 108-lot development approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel in November 2016.

The traditional owners were upset they were given no warning about the work, which they say encroaches on land set aside for them when segregation took place.

"We have been here for a long time and no one has said anything to us," Elder Nancy Walker said.

Marshall Way resident, Heather Rose, said she had been shocked to see the extent of the clearing.

"It has been reduced to bare earth and no one said anything. The last two weeks have been stressful with all the machinery on site," Heather said.

In the face of ongoing protests, workers downed tools by early afternoon on Tuesday, leaving the final section, where the boundary fence is to be installed, uncleared.

Contractor Tony Riley said he was working on private land and clearing along the common boundary between the development and the designated 20 metre asset protection zone (APZ).

Published with permission of de Groot and Benson

Published with permission of de Groot and Benson

Council's manager Development & Environment, Daniel Welsh, said cleaning the boundary was normal practice but development of this particular pocket, which on the original plans would have seen six more lots, had been deferred as it was found to be habitat for yellow-bellied gliders.

"While it is still zoned residential, there is no approval at this point in time," Mr Walsh said.

"It would be subject to a separate development application requiring detailed ecological reports and approval from the Office of Heritage and Environment.

The owner of the land, Lindsay Clarke, was contacted for comment but did not wish to discuss the matter.

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