Ardel Development

Ardel Development
Heritage listed bushland in the headwaters of the Manly Dam catchment has recently been bulldozed for a 32 lot medium density housing development.
The four hectare Ardel site consisted of dense bushland in a critical location in the upper catchment.The development has resulted in a loss of 80% of the bushland and over 60m of creek line on the site, and also risks ongoing degradation downstream.
The local community worked for more than 7 years to save this site, which was formerly Crown Land. The land was withdrawn from sale and set aside by Manly Council in the 1880's to protect the Manly Dam catchment, which is a favourite fresh water swimming place and picnic location also known as "Sydney's Kakadu" creek
put the water quality and aquatic habitat in the creek and in Manly Reservoir at risk. Downstream from the site, a population of Galaxias brevipinnis, the rare Gondwanan climbing fish, has been discovered and is currently being investigated for protection by the scientific community.
The development has

  • destroyed threatened flora and fauna. The site contained 2-3 hectares of Duffys Forest Vegetation Community, that was theoretically protected under the Threatened Species Act as being in danger of becoming extinct. The area was also home to vulnerable, rare and endangered species such as the Red Crowned Toadlet (Psueudophryne australis) and Tetratheca glandulosa.
  • destroyed heritage listed bushland. The site and Manly Dam Reserve were listed on the Register of the National Estate as of National Heritage value. The site was removed from the listing folllowing the bulldozing.
  • destroyed a section of the creek
  • put the water quality and aquatic habitat in the creek and in Manly Reservoir at risk. Downstream from the site, a population of Galaxias brevipinnis, the rare Gondwanan climbing fish, has been discovered and is currently being investigated for protection by the scientific community.
  • put the vegetation and public amenity of the downstream reserve at risk

In 1999 the community mounted a continuous vigil in a last ditch attempt to save this precious area from destruction. A rally, called with only 48 hours notice was attended by more than 1,000 people, demonstrating overwhelming community support.

Ardel Development Protest

Protesters surround a bulldozer

Ardel Development building commences

A blockade was mounted as a peaceful protest and five local residents and MLC Lee Rhiannon were arrested and charged with criminal offences. The development was a major issue in the 1999 Warringah Council elections.

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