Edgewater Shores, in conjunction with MidCoast Council, is delighted to announce that the iconic Moreton Bay fig tree standing proud on the coastal residential development Edgewater Shores, has been handed back to the community of Diamond Beach.
Prior to finalising the residential development’s approvals, Edgewater Shores sought community feedback and received an overwhelming response from local community groups that sent a clear message to Edgewater Shores and MidCoast Council: The community wanted the tree kept as public space. One of the strongest statements came from the adjacent primary school children at Hallidays Point Public School. The entire primary school stood strong in front of the tree to demonstrate how important it is to keep the tree available for them and the local community to enjoy.
Image courtesy of Hallidays Point Public School
Mel Orchard, P&C President of Hallidays Point Public School and long-time resident of Diamond Beach said “when we thought the beautiful Moreton Bay Fig Tree would be lost from the community, we started sending emails, attending meetings and creating Facebook pages to gain community support. With our Principal’s backing, we brought the entire school outside to stand in front of the tree. Many of the students were saying “please save our tree”. We live in a wonderful community that is supportive and helpful. We are delighted that the tree and surrounding park will remain in the hands of the community.”
Very early on and prior to the final approval of the project, Edgewater Shores had received feedback from the community about the significance of the fig tree. Sam Coco, Development Director for Edgewater Shores said; “On the original approved plan the fig tree was contained within someone’s back yard, however after hearing how much the tree meant to the community, we removed the entire block from being sold. We commenced early discussions with MidCoast Council and were positive we could find a way to transfer the land back to the community.”
There were a number of factors considered when assessing the proposal to transfer the land, including the health of the tree and the benefit in retaining such a significant landmark for the local community, Council’s Acting Director of Planning and Natural Systems, Paul De Szell explained.
“Council had received comment from the general public, including representatives from the neighbouring school asking for the land to be placed into public ownership for the benefit of the community.”
Edgewater Shores will work with local community groups to ensure the fig tree area is landscaped to maximise the amenity of the area for the local school children and broader community. Mr Coco said, “we are anticipating construction of Stages 1 and 2 of the development adjacent to the fig tree to be completed late March 2019 at which time the newly created fig tree park will also be nearing completion.”
The work carried out by MidCoast Council, community groups and Edgewater Shores demonstrates a clear commitment by all stakeholders to the needs of the community and the environment. Edgewater Shores was recently awarded the 6-leaf EnviroDevelopment certification for the project which is the highest level of certification available from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).
Mr Coco said, “the team is committed to ensuring Edgewater Shores is a wonderful place to live and achieves a sense of community that matches the natural environment which surrounds Diamond Beach. We have several initiatives on the site which help protect and restore the natural environment. One such initiative will result in the restoration of over 4000 plant species in a dedicated environmental conservation area. This area will become a place for residents to stroll through to the sands of Diamond Beach.”
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