Albany councillors have made a unanimous showing they “are listening” to concerns raised by members of the public by supporting a motion committing to not consider any further development on a bush land Yakamia lot, other than those already agreed to. Lot 4743 North Road has been in the spotlight since May last year when the Friends of Yakamia Forest Boodja formed to protect it from potential future development. A motion tabled by Cr Greg Stocks on Tuesday asked council to not consider any further development on the vegetated portions of the lot until all options for the land lots could be considered during the development of the North Albany District Structure Plan. Speaking to the motion Cr Stocks said he understood how the bush land lot was used by the community because he had lived in the area for seven years. “My kids grew up in that area, so I understand exactly what that vegetation looks like and how it is used by the community,” he said. “However, I am relying, and continue to rely and urge councillors to rely, on the advice of trained professionals — not some ad hoc advice from the floor — that we need to progress through a number of imperatives before we can consider the idea of turning over a lot to conservation. “It would be premature and unwise to turn all of lot 4743 including our car parks, this building, a drainage reserve and a road reserve over to conservation tonight — it’s not doable.” The motion received widespread support by councillors, many of whom made the statement they wished they had come up with the idea for it themselves. Cr Robert Sutton called the motion “one of the best” he had seen during more than 13 years as a councillor. Cr Sandie Smith said the motion was the opposite of ignoring the calls from the public as had been suggested during public question time earlier in the meeting. “This motion stops the council staying silent as we have had to up until now because there has been no proposal before us to develop any of the site,” she said. “It remains the same under LPS2 (Local Planning Scheme 2) as it had done under LPS1, there is just no change. “There is no plans for housing subdivision and with this motion we get the benefit of time to see something play out — that is the neighbouring development that is being proposed and they will have to address any EPA concerns.” A decision by council in June last year to support a submission which would require clearing of a 17m strip in the north-western corner of the lot drew the ire of FYFB. The group subsequently presented a petition with more than 1500 signatures to council in September calling on it to rescind its motion of support. During public question time 15 people spoke about how important the protection of the vegetation on lot 4743 was to them in various ways. Many had asked for the lot to immediately be rezoned for Environmental Conservation as part of LPS2. FYFB member Annabel Paulley said the motion that was set to be tabled by Cr Stocks was a “small step in the right direction”. “However, it will only give a short-term protection to this endangered wildlife habitat and old growth forest which is still under threat of destruction in the medium and long term because it is all still zoned for housing development,” she said. During discussion of the motion councillors Stocks, Stephen Grimmer and Malcolm Traill all indicated clear support for conserving as much as possible of vegetation on the block at an appropriate point in time.