The size of the small border town of Sutton will effectively double under a proposed plan to develop the region.
In documents lodged with the NSW government by Capital Region Planning, a Sutton family has proposed selling about 180 hectares of land that has been in its family for over 150 years.
The block of land owned by the Cartwright family sits between the town's south and the Federal Highway, boxed to the east by the Yass River and a tulip farm, with Sutton Road to the west.
Sutton post office owner Christine Douth said the development could be good for a town where things were stagnant.
"Canberra is moving out here," Ms Douth said. "A lot of people like the idea of a bit of development here."
She said some people who may be critical of the development had moved to Sutton for the rural lifestyle and wanted to keep it that way.
Ms Douth said in 2016 a proposed 5000 residential block development to the town's west was rejected by the community. The new one was a better proposal, she said.
Yass Valley Council's future planning strategy called for development of Sutton, believing the maximum growth of the town should be about 150 residential blocks.
But the family hoped its proposal to subdivide the land into 64 new residential blocks would be an "environmentally superior outcome that generates a similar development yield".
In 2017, the council consulted with Sutton locals to put together a development strategy for area, which recognised a rising demand for housing in the capital region.
It saw the Cartwright family's land as the most appropriate location to be rezoned and developed.
The residential blocks would be a mix of 5000 square metre residential blocks and larger, 1.5 hectare blocks.
Areas proposed for housing had been long degraded by years of European agriculture, the documents said.
An environmental corridor of five environmental blocks - larger than the combined residential blocks - would run up the middle of the land, bracketed by the housing to the east and west.
"These stewardship sites will provide 'in perpetuity' protection and enhancement of the biodiversity values of the land," the proposal said.
This meant geographically the size of Sutton would double but not the land zoned for residential reasons.
Planning documents note the "moderate" to "very-high quality" status of the vegetation of this area thanks to the Cartwright's efforts to manage it.
Planners had deliberately designed the proposal in a way to avoid most of the environmentally sensitive areas on the land, documents said.
But the documents also show the land is habitat to the vulnerable superb parrot and a roosting ground for the Eastern bentwing-bat.
It also points to the endangered white box yellow box Blakely's red gum woodland in the land.
The NSW government has previously expressed concern that type of woodland could go extinct in the state if left unprotected.
The proposal notes there are no clearing thresholds listed for the trees.
But the proposal said if a threshold was set prior to the submission of any subsequent development applications, and the development exceeded those new thresholds, "then [Yass council] would have no option but to refuse the application".
A letter from the NSW environment department lodged with the proposal said if rezoning was approved by Yass council, then a referral under state environment laws would need to consider the impacts of any development on the parrots and woodland.
But it also noted the proposal's efforts to "avoid, mitigate or compensate" environmental applications.
The development strategy for Sutton, developed by council in 2017, noted future developments in the region would struggle with the lack of water and sewerage infrastructure in the area.
Proposal documents show the sewerage would still have to be on site with residents relying on rainwater or bore water for drinking water.
Public submissions close at 5pm, Wednesday June 26.
The Cartwright family was contacted for comment.
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