THE destructive bushfires that broke out across Lake Macquarie last month have prompted the local council to defer a decision on a new housing development.
A proposal to turn Teralba's lot 413 into a residential subdivision has reignited fears about emergency access.
Bordered by Pitt Street, James Street and Five Islands Road, the area flagged for redevelopment has only one entry point, via Pitt Street.
Many Teralba residents have urged Lake Macquarie City Council not to approve the proposal, which stated that a second entry was unnecessary.
The council suggested another access point closed off by a gate, which would only be opened by the NSW Rural Fire Service in case of a bushfire or other emergencies.
Councillors voted unanimously last week to wait for further advice.
A number of suburbs were evacuated because of the recent fires, while others were trapped on the nearby peninsula.
Lake Macquarie councillor Chad Griffith said the council had struggled with the issue, since it was signed off by a previously elected council.
"There are serious concerns about creating another subdivision with a one entry, one exit strategy," he said.
"Council is awaiting more feedback from the RFS [NSW Rural Fire Service] so we can make the right decision."