A 500-lot subdivision at Skennars Head south of Lennox Head in Ballina Shire was recommended for approval yesterday by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) sitting in Ballina.
The rezoning plan for 35 hectares of farmland, to be sent to the planning minister Brad Hazzard for final determination, will also include a neighbourhood centre, recreational reserves and open space.
The plan was on public exhibition for a month in July and attracted over 40 submissions, half of which opposed the plan due to environmental impact concerns.
A development control plan (DCP) will be required for the site and will go on public exhibition for further public comment.
Ballina Shire Council staff objected to some of the rezoning plan in their submission to the JRPP.
Acting group manager for strategic and community facilities Matthew Wood said
there were problems with the legibility of the plan as it contained ‘a series of very poor images illustrating various aspects of the proposal and a number of incorrect and outdated references to documents’.
Mr Wood said there were also at least two references to the dedication of land east of the Coast Road ‘within the supporting documentation associated with the proposal despite the minister’s decision to remove this land from consideration in the planning proposal.
‘This is misleading to the public as it is confusing and could give the impression that the land will be dedicated when this is not the case as part of the planning proposal.’
Mr Wood said the plan was ‘difficult for the general public to interpret and therefore may impact on the opportunity for the public to accurately and fully appraise and understand the proposed rezoning’.
Chair of the Northern JRPP, Garry West, said the proposal ‘conforms to all applicable statutory planning provisions and suitable planning controls have been applied, including appropriate building heights and minimum lot sizes’.
Mr West said it also contained ‘provision for areas which are unsuitable for residential zoning to be rezoned rural landscape and identifies areas which are of ecological and environmental significance’.
The developer’s consultant told the JRPP that the plan allowed for ‘broad and very wide corridor linkages for environmental purposes’ and that they did not ‘intend to obscure any views’.