15.5 C
Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Pottsville high-school site in doubt

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

Plans to increase building heights in Byron CBD may be shelved

Byron Council’s controversial plan to increase building height limits on a block in the centre of Byron Bay looks set to be abandoned at this week’s planning meeting.

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

Deep listening and housing ideas under Mullum’s fig trees for Renew Fest

Around a hundred presenters, musicians, other artists and community activators plus a bumper crowd of punters all came together under the fig trees at the Mullumbimby Showground over the weekend for Renew Fest 2021.

It’s D-Day for Byron’s Marvell Street DA

Will a controversial hotel development in central Byron that exceeds both height and floor space limits be given conditional approval at this week’s Byron Council meeting?

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.

Luis Feliu

A long-held ambition by parents of the fast-growing Pottsville area for a high school to be built there appears to have been sidelined.

Tweed Shire Council this week gave the green light to a plan by major developer Metricon to turn a site at its Seabreeze estate, long earmarked for a potential high-school, into residential zone for around 160 dwellings.

Council will now prepare an amendment to the development control plan for Seabreeze to remove the school site and exhibit it for 30 days.

The move to change the land use of the greenfield, six-hectare site to residential followed the NSW Department of Education and Training advising council the site was not required for a high school for the foreseeable future due to insufficient demand.

The developer then sought the amendment, without identifying a designated school site, telling council that exhibiting it would give the education department a chance to ‘finally determine if they want a site, and if so a commitment to acquire the site promptly’.

Cr Warren Polglase backed the move, saying he could understand Metricon’s ‘reluctance’ to hang onto the site for a high school given the department didn’t think current population levels there warranted it.

Cr Polglase said he supported the amendment going on display for public comment for 30 days as it would give Pottsville residents ‘a voice’ so they could ask the state government to ‘reconsider a high school for Pottsville’.

‘We should ask the community what they want and not what the government wants us to do,’ he said.

Cr Kevin Skinner added that ‘voice is loud enough, maybe the education department will listen’.

But it may not either, according to Crs Dot Holdom and Katie Milne, who opposed the move and failed in their bid to defer it till next meeting to allow for a workshop between council and the education department on possible school sites for the area.

Cr Holdom said she had concerns the land-use shift from a high school to residential would reduce the potential for a high school to be built there in future.

‘It begs the question, where do we flag a public high school for the future?’ she said.

Cr Polglase then suggested an amendment to the staff recommendation for the plan to go on display so council could hold a public meeting in Pottsville during the exhibition period.

‘Who knows, they may identify other possible sites,’ Cr Polglase said.

Cr Milne said she was concerned about the ramifications of agreeing to remove the school site from Seabreeze and what sort of message it gave the community.

‘It would be more respectful to ask the community what they want first. We said we would support, lobby and advocate a high school for Pottsville.’

Cr Milne said it appeared the developers were simply saying ‘we just want to get rid of the site so we can build more houses’.

‘But we shouldn’t contemplate absolving this location for a high school with no guarantee for others in the future,’ she said.

In their report, council staff said the potential high-school site at Seabreeze had been identified since 2000 and long discussed among the community, council, developers and education providers.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. if you cant see the growth you must be walking around with your eyes closed!
    over 800 new homes since 2005! mostly young families moving in .
    wake up and take a look around

  2. Not so long ago council disallowed an approval for over development, of a shopping center at Pottsville, being bound to the original master plan at the Seabreaze estate. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Now the master plan is non binding?
    We are here paying rates and have a vision for our families -and that includes local high school education!
    Has the developer at Kings Forest promised space for a high school? Maybe council envisions it being placed in the proposed industrial site at Pottsville in the distant- distant – distant future?
    Please stick to the master plan and honour the planners that had the original vision for Pottsville.
    Vivian Small

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.