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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

‘Rogue’ mansion now up for sale

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[author]Luis Feliu[/author]

Hastings Point residents are furious that a property proposed for a controversial beachfront mansion which they campaigned against but which Tweed Shire Council approved has been put on the market, only weeks after consent was given.

Last November, council approved the redevelopment of a two-storey block of flats at No 26 Coast Road into a three-storey mansion which Cr Dot Holdom insisted was all about the developer trying to ‘expand their family home’.

Cr Holdom’s vote backing the pro-development bloc on council was crucial in getting the contentious plan through, even though she originally voted two years ago to support the Hastings Point village plan restricting height limits to two storeys.

The community outcry over the plan led to a rescission motion in the hope she could be persuaded to change her mind, but it too failed. Mayor Barry Longland, Cr Katie Milne and Cr Joan van Lieshout had backed the community.

Hastings Point Progress Association spokesperson Julie Boyd emailed councillors this week to express her concern that, as residents had predicted, the development was speculative in nature.

‘Locals are naturally and justifiably furious. It is speculative development that creates the most problems for local communities. As some of you know, genuine investment developers are not interested in destroying local communities, but rather in working in harmony with them,’ she said.

Anger at the approval of the rogue mansion, which breaches the village’s recently adopted development control plan (DCP), has sparked a move to stop similar projects in the village getting the green light.?? At stake is the future look of Hastings Point. Many of the old homes that line the beachfront may soon be rebuilt in the same mega-style.

It’s believed several other owners of property along the Hastings Point beachfront are poised to seek approval for similar-sized buildings.

Cr Katie Milne failed in her recent move to tighten the rules to prevent a repeat of the recent approval, which residents say contains up to eight breaches the DCP.??Councillors did not back her motion to ensure that only qualified planning staff, and not the council’s building services unit (BSU), assess similar projects in the future. The recent approval was unusual in that the BSU assessed the project, instead of qualified town planners. The unit’s staff normally deal with applications for single dwellings in suburban streets.

The recent Hastings Point approval involved a block of flats being gutted and the exterior walls used to create a home which was one metre higher and 12 metres longer, and 5.5 metres closer to the foreshore than allowed in the DCP.

Local lawyer John O’Reilly said at the time, that the approval was ‘a kick in the guts for the community’ and ‘a complete breakdown of trust between the people of Hastings Point and the council’.

Mr O’Reilly, one of the leaders of the campaign to create the village DCP which retains the suburb’s village atmosphere, said it was not a renovation, but a ‘completely different building’.


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