Environmental Planning for Beerwah East major Development Area
The Queensland government identified the Beerwah East area as a major development area, making it a priority for urban growth over the next decade. To inform strategic land use planning, the Sunshine Coast Council engaged NGH to examine the environmental values of the area and advise on the best areas for conservation, development, and recreation.
It takes a tribe…
We assembled a team of highly skilled individuals under the NGH umbrella, utilising a collaborative approach and drawing on their in-depth knowledge of the site and surrounding area. The process involved extensive consultation and collaboration among team members.
With a total area of 3,000 ha and a wide range of survey types to be conducted, NGH’s biodiversity team worked closely with Council and consisted of a team of experts with local knowledge, including botanists, aquatic ecologists, fauna ecologists, and spatial analysts.
Blueprint for greenspace
The project was based on fieldwork and the manipulation and modeling of data to complete a landscape-scale assessment and identify opportunities for biodiversity. The team examined current ecological values, including habitat linkages, and identified potential corridors that could be enhanced to improve wildlife movement in the future. We used this information to recommend the best areas for conservation, development, and recreation, developing a viable and defensive environmental network that will protect and enhance on-site ecological values and sustain ecological functionality across the broader landscape.
Through the fieldwork, the team identified endangered frogs and swamp crayfish, among many other native fauna species. The recommendations made were centred around supporting potential urban growth whilst minimising impact on these threatened species.
Working together with council, developers, experts, and the community
The project was a collaborative effort involving many stakeholders, including council members, representatives from QLD Treasury, flood consultants, and strategic planning consultants, who were regular visitors to the site.
Our findings and recommendations are being incorporated into the structure plan for Beerwah East and will be a key influence on the way that this greenfield site is developed over the coming decades. As a result, the ecological values of the area will be protected, and ecological functionality sustained across the broader landscape.
In addition to the official report, a second document was prepared with an expanded community-focused executive summary to improve accessibility to councillors, developers, and community members and to provide an understanding of how risks to endangered species and local flora were being mitigated.
Contact our Biodiversity team to learn more about ecological assessments and conservation planning for major developments.