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Byron Shire
May 18, 2024

McMansion madness at Hastings Pt

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[author]Steve Spencer[/author]

Controversial plans to gut a block of flats and create a three-storey ‘McMansion’ on the Hastings Point beachfront would be a first test of the village’s new locality plan, according to a resident opposed to the project.

The mega-renovation will be debated by councillors on Tuesday following a hour-long workshop held this week to brief them on the project.

Council staff recommended approval of the large home, despite it being 0.5m higher than required by the development control plan (DCP). It also breaches council’s coastal setback regulations at 2.5 metres from the boundary, instead of the required five metres.

Several councillors have voiced concern the project, at 26 Tweed Coast Road, would breach the DCP. Mayor Barry Longland said Hastings Point DCP had a two-storey height limit yet ‘this building is three storeys, doesn’t meet the setback from the beach and even fails on height. I don’t know why it was put forward.’

Resident John O’Reilly said the plan clearly failed to comply with minimum setbacks from the crown dunal area, as well as height limit.

‘It’s not justified, only for the sake of the owners wanting better ocean views. The dunes will be impacted on, yet improved views from a verandah is not an ingredient council should have to assess. They’ve still got views,’ he said.

‘The Hastings Point community were not notified of amendments to the DA and this is a serious concern to us, as most of them are in clear breach of the DCP.’

Mr O’Reilly said the village worked for five years, at considerable cost, to have this locality plan implemented.

‘Council staff and councillors also put in a lot of time, effort, and money including overtime hours for staff during community consultation,’ he said.

‘Council held several workshops asking the community to come up with a vision for the future of Hastings Point and we were very happy to be provided the opportunity to work with council, rather than fighting against it. Now, after all we have been through, it seems that with the first test of the Hastings Point locality plan the guidelines are to be ignored.

‘This will create a precedent for all future developments. Flexible controls are no controls at.’

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