Cr Jeff Johnson, Lennox Head
The proposed rezoning of the last remaining farmland at Sharpes Beach has been a controversial issue for a number of years.
Last year, the NSW planning minister made the decision to strip Ballina Council of its planning powers and appointed a JRPP (Joint Regional Planning Panel) to determine the matter.
This is a slap in the face to our local community and council staff who have been working on this matter for a number of years.
The most likely result will be that local ratepayers will have to foot the bill for the additional infrastructure required as a result of the new housing estate (approx. 500 house sites). Where will this money come from?
Despite this, the NSW government continues to repeat the rhetoric that it is ‘returning planning powers’ to local government.
The state government has also failed to endorse the environmental zones in the new Ballina LEP which further complicates the matter.
Furthermore, the current rezoning proposal leaves open the prospect for houses to be developed on the eastern side of the coast road.
The land east of the coast road should be incorporated into the Ballina Coastal reserve so that it can be enjoyed by our community for generations to come.
The current rezoning proposal (renamed Skennars Head Coastal Village Planning Proposal) is not in the best interests of the environment or our local community.