Court to decide on Radiata Plateau development

Residents at the hearing.

Residents at the hearing.

An onsite hearing of the NSW Land and Environment Court at Radiata Plateau in Katoomba has heard how the biodiversity of the area was under threat due to three development applications.

The applications were lodged by Maharishi’s Global Administration with Blue Mountains council in 2015 for three houses on the plateau.

The matter ended up before the court after the “deemed refusal” of development applications and mediation between the council and developer did not result in an agreement.

The plateau is a haven for rock climbers and bushwalkers and the majority of the plateau is private land owned by the company, which operates the Transcendental Meditation program. 

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society is concerned the houses, which appear identical in design, could be used for commercial rather than residential use and could be expanded further in the future, a concern echoed by residents in Pulpit Hill Rd, from which Radiata Plateau is accessed.

At the onsite hearing on February 20, society vice president Tara Cameron said they highlighted the biodiversity values of Radiata Plateau, including rare vegetation such as endangered Blue Mountains swamps. 

“With close proximity to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Radiata Plateau also forms a vital flora and fauna corridor between Blackheath, Medlow Bath and Katoomba,” she said.

"Given the environmental significance of the plateau, and the high potential of any developments negatively impacting on those values, we emphasised to the court that the environmental assessment for any development must be robust and thorough, and we don’t believe the applicant has done this.

“The society will continue to campaign to have this important area conserved.”

We will continue to campaign to have this important area conserved. - Tara Cameron

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