The Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) yesterday approved an at-times controversial expansion plan for the Tweed City shopping mall in South Tweed Heads.
According to the JRPP the proposal will ‘reconfigure and expand the existing retail space to the north and west of the existing centre’, increasing the gross floor area by around 30 per cent.
It will include expanded basement and multi-storey car parking, an additional entry and exit into the centre and new loading docks.
The proposal was referred to the JRPP because the project has a capital investment value of more than $20 million.
The northern regional panel chair, Garry West, has lauded the proposal, which he says will make Tweed City a ‘destination’ shopping precinct for the region.
‘The expansion of the Tweed City shopping centre is in keeping with the long term vision of growth and revitalisation for Tweed Heads which is set out in the Tweed Heads Development Control Plan,’ Mr West said.
‘The proposal supports the Tweed Shire Council’s goal to make the Tweed City shopping centre a significant shopping destination for the Tweed Shire and the far north coast of NSW, thus providing the local community access to a wide range of retail options.’
‘The proposal will enhance the profile and attractiveness of Tweed Heads South as a major retail and employment location.’
‘An increase in retail opportunity within the centre will reduce the need for the local community to travel outside of the region for goods and services.’
‘The proposal will reduce expenditure leakage by improving the quality and quantity of retail available to local residents.’
Last year the centre’s owners almost netted themselves accidental approval for a five-metre increase in height above what it was seeking by apparently confusing two methods of height measurement in their submission to the Tweed Shire’s 2013 Local Environment Plan.
The discrepancy was spotted at the last minute by an eagle-eyed councillor, who was able to use an extraordinary council meeting to ensure the error, which had been rubber stamped by council’s planning staff, wasn’t coded into the LEP.
Cr Gary Bagnall told Echonetdaily at the time that he was glad the document had been delayed as ‘otherwise no-one would have been the wiser’ over the new five-metre height difference for the shopping mall.