The future of Tweed’s controversial Kings Forest Stage One development proposal will now be decided by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) after more than 300 objections were received against it.
The Environmental Assessment report (EA) was publicly exhibited for 32 days during November and December 2011.
Of the 302 submissions received by the department, 10 were from public authorities and 292 from the general public and special interest groups. Not one was in support of the proposal.
The trigger for the involvement of PAC in the final decision is 25 objections.
PAC will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday June 18 at the South Tweed Sports Club and bookings can be made to address the Commission.
The department has recommended approval of the application, subject to conditions and ‘agreed commitments’ from the developer.
The new estate, by billionaire Bob Ell’s Leda Developments, would be the most intensive ever seen on the Tweed.
The project would ultimately contain 4,500 houses and house 10,000 people.
Stage 1 of the project application, provides for 431 dwellings across 383 residential lots as well as bulk earthworks and roadworks.
The dwellings would include townhouses, terrace houses, shop-top housing and ‘zero-lot dwellings’ (buildings that take up the entire size of the housing block) as well as some traditional detached homes.
A Tweed Council insider told Echonetdaily the finished development would ‘basically look like Robina’.
As a gesture to the high number of objectors to the proposal, additional conditions have been proposed by Department of Planning.
Tweed mayor Barry Longland told media he was reasonably pleased with the outcome.
‘Our council put in a very detailed and robust submission and they’ve included them in their assessments and that’s what will be before the PAC,’ he said yesterday.
Some of the proposed new conditions include:
– a second east-west wildlife corridor to the south of the existing corridor and adjoining (retained) existing bushland;
– rehabilitation of Blacks Creek inside the adjacent Cudgen Nature Reserve (one bank of which the developer last year admitted to having illegally bulldozed);
– dedication to [National Parks and Wildlife Service] of approximately 150ha of land as an addition to the Cudgen Nature Reserve;
– the ‘embellishment and dedication’ of 4 ha of ‘casual and structured’ open space to Tweed Shire Council; and
– a guarantee by Leda that ‘all management and maintenance activities in the environmental management plans would be undertaken ‘in perpetuity’.
Any approval would lapse after five years but could be extended at the discretion of the director-general.
An area of heathland on the site is to be provided with long-term protection and allowed to naturally regenerate.
The additional east-west wildlife corridor would have to contain koala feed trees and be specifically designed to attract native fauna.
Leda would also be required to undertake traffic, soil, bushfire and geotechnical assessments, create a sports field with a sealed public access road and give details as to how it would provide affordable housing on the site.
The Planning Assessment Commission hearing to consider the application is on Tuesday June 18 at the South Tweed Sports Club, starting at 3pm.
Anyone wishing to speak at the Commission hearing should call Stephanie Calderaro on (02) 9383 2112 before 1pm on Friday June 14.