A business and residents lobby group is celebrating its Land and Environment Court win against plans to build the Tweed-Byron regional police headquarters on the site of the Kingscliff police station.
The court late yesterday ruled against the approval by the state joint regional planning panel late last year of the $15 million project for Marine Parade.
Justice Peter Biscoe found the development consent for the project involving the demolition of the existing police station and adjoining two residences was invalid.
The project was opposed by the lobby group because of concerns it was inappropriate for the residential location, a shortage of car parking and its distance from the highway impacting on police response times.
Tweed Business and Residents Focus Group spokesman Rory Curtis told Echonetdaily the group was ‘delighted’ with the decision but would continue to collect petition signatures and support ‘in readiness for a potential second application being lodged on the same site’.
Mr Curtis said they would continue to lobby the state government to find an alternative site.
He said a recent audit of NSW police made 22 recommendations, ‘one of which was to change from a local-area command system to a district and patrol scheme, which would increase the current patrolled area threefold’.
‘So it makes total sense to have a more central command centre to service the area.
‘We totally support the retention of the existing police facilities in Kingscliff and want to work with all stakeholders to ensure a good outcome for the community.’
Mr Curtis said his focus group would meet to discuss the issue again next Tuesday 31 July at the Kingscliff Bowls Club from 6.30pm and visitors were welcome to join the group on the night.
Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) chairman Garry West, during his hearing last October, said he was ‘mindful the police force is a community service’ and that ‘wherever the new regional command centre was built it would have an impact on local residents’.
Tweed Shire Council planners at the time held concerns with the project’s impact on the beachside residential area, especially parking for staff and clients.