Residents of Kingscliff’s Noble Lakeside Park applauded a decision by Tweed Shire councillors to refuse a controversial plan to expand the estate with 32 extra homes built partly over the park’s lake.
The move to expand the 254-dwelling estate has been rejected several times before by state courts and planning panels, but recommended for approval by council planners.
But mayor Barry Longland and Crs Katie Milne, Michael Armstrong and Gary Bagnall on Thursday disagreed with the recommendation and voted to reject it outright, with Crs Phil Youngblutt and Carolyn Byrne opposed. Cr Warren Polglase manages the park but has not taken part in the debate or vote.
Owners Keith and Elmona Noble, who were in the public gallery for the decision, told Echonetdaily they would appeal the decision to the Land and Environment Court.
The couple said they will now not go ahead with a promised upgrade of park amenities, including improved security, expanded community hall and new walkway.
‘All that’s gone,’ a disappointed Mr Noble told media. Mrs Noble said it was ‘unfortunate’, but the improved amenities were part of the park-expansion project.
At a community-access meeting last week, elderly residents of the park claimed they had been intimidated and threatened by park owners and management into supporting the expansion, on a promise of upgrading facilities there.
But many residents preferred not losing the northern edge of the manmade lake to the new homes as they use that area for recreation.
Cr Milne said the plan would have impacted too much on the residents’ amenity and the same principles on which the Joint Regional Planning Panel rejected it in 2010 still applied today.
It was the third attempt by Mr Noble to expand the park. A previous application for 45 homes was knocked back by the JRPP, before the owners scaled it down to 32.