Developer Keith Noble has reduced the number of homes he wants to build at Kingscliff’s Noble Lakeside Park to 32 after the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) rejected a bid for 45 homes last year.
By rights this should bring it under council’s control but the state planning minister has been asked to refer the controversial bid to build 32 homes on the lake edge at the manufactured home estate to an independent arbitrator.
Submissions on the project closed late last month.
Earlier this year, Mr Noble appealed to the Land and Environment Court over his $10.4 million project which Tweed Council had recommended for approval when first lodged in November 2009, but pulled the pin on the appeal on the first day of the hearing.
The development, which involved diverting a drainage canal to widen a peninsula on which some homes would have been built on stilts over water, sparked fierce opposition from many park residents.
Because the scheme was over $10 million, the JRPP became the consent authority but the five-man panel was unanimous in rejecting it on the grounds it was an overdevelopment of the site.
Kingscliff resident Jerry Cornford recently wrote to planning minister Brad Hazzard calling on him to replace both the shire’s planning department and council with an independent arbitrator to decide on the most recent application.
Mr Cornford says the new 32-home application was ‘virtually identical’ to the one rejected by both the JRPP and the environment court, but with the number of proposed dwellings reduced to 32 ‘thereby bringing it, on a cost basis, out of the jurisdiction’ of the planning panel and ‘within the purview of council’.
(Council is allowed to deal with development applications costed at under $10 million.)
‘This places council and its planners in an impossible dilemma. Both planning department and councillors will have to try either to justify their approval of the original DA, knowing that it has been roundly rejected by both overview authorities, or to reject the new DA, thence admitting that their original assessment was flawed and could not be substantiated,’ Mr Cornford said.
‘The conflict is manifestly unfair on both planning staff and councillors and is unlikely to result in a fair and equitable assessment for either the applicant or objectors.’