It is disappointing to see that the Master Plan you have produced seeks to urbanise the Peat Island precinct in the interest of short term commercial gain rather than to extend its potential as a passive recreational and environmental asset for the long term benefit of the community.
The Master Plan proposes too much development and too little recreational space.
The Peat Island Precinct is a community asset, so you would think planning for its future should be focused on how to maximise community access to the site while preserving its environmental and cultural values.
The proposal for a large Marina on the mud flats seems like a developers dream but a poor idea for the environment. The visual impact of so many more boats upon the river and the massive scale of the car park associated with it will be an ugly intrusion upon the river.
The Peat Island precinct has a strategic location beside the M1 Freeway, making it a highly visible and accessible community resource along the course of the Hawkesbury River. Already the Mooney Mooney boat ramp and picnic area receives very high daily visitation rates because of its accessibility to the Freeway. This is despite the fact that the area is significantly impacted by noise levels associated with the Freeway corridor.
A great part of the Rivers attraction for the community is its wild and rugged terrain but this ruggedness means that there are very few access points to the river for the general community. The proposal to sell off the majority of the land into private ownership means that it will be largely alienated from public access. Much of the open space proposed for retention will be overshadowed by buildings and dominated by car parking spaces.
As population numbers and housing density is increased within the Sydney Basin future generations will need access to passive recreational facilities along the Hawkesbury River - even more than it is needed today. Their will be many more people, much less open space and no more river being made.
In my vision for the future, The Peat Island precinct should echo the example set by Govenor Macquarie when he created the Domain.
An accessible place for the people, beside a river that is significant for both its environment and it's cultural heritage.