DOONSIDE residents will do whatever possible to save a piece of pristine woodland which is home to bird life and critically endangered trees.
The 4-hectare site at Denis Winston Drive is owned by the Education and Communities Department earmarked for a proposed school which has not been built. The department now wants to sell the land which would be rezoned as residential.
Martin Ashton lives next to the open space and collected more than 500 signatures. "And 95 per cent of people I've doorknocked have signed the petition which is a clear sign residents will be upset if it's developed," he said.
Phil Wilson said: "The Cumberland Woodland consisted of 107,000 hectares in 1877. Presently, 6 per cent remains in small fragments.
"We're fortunate to have a small pocket where we live.
"There seems to be overdevelopment in Blacktown at the moment and we want the government to hear the voices of those who live and work in the area."
Blacktown and District Environment Group secretary Wayne Olling said the rezoning would be a shameful loss. This site has served its purpose as open space for decades and continues to do so.
The story recently featured on Ten News, when planning minister Brad Hazzard said he had told his department to review the policy of rezoning surplus school land.
Residents are waiting for more details from Mr Hazzard and want another meeting with education minister Adrian Piccoli.
Many Blacktown councillors are against the rezoning, said Mr Ashton.
"I'm not anti-development and I'm not a greenie," he said.
"But I've lived here for 10 years and rezoning this as residential will be disturbing for a lot of people.
"My message to the government is to listen to the community and act appropriately."