Move over, West Byron; a 500-home development is about to begin down the road in Lennox Head.
And it’s just one of many residential/commerical projects in Ballina Shire that are either being built or are in the planning stages.
Located just 2km from Lennox’s CBD, Pacific Pines will be commencing its first stage this month, with 51 home sites planned.
And it appears it will be aimed entirely at the wealthy, with blocks ranging from 600 to 900 square metres.
Ballina mayor David Wright told The Echo that while there are no planning requirements to stop it being populated by lower-end project homes, he suggested that the expected high land price would encourage higher-spec homes.
‘This is a 20-year-old plan,’ he said, ‘and the state government gave approval many years ago. I understand the previous owners lost a lot of money and they are now the fourth owners… people’s fingers have been burnt on this almost from the start.’
The current owners are Noosa-based developers Clarence Property, and within their concept plan they propose ‘predominantly residential lots, with a retirement site, retail precinct and neighbourhood centre/community facilities.’
Extensive sportsfields are also included within stage 1B, which Cr Wright says has been promised for ten years. Despite Cr Wright saying it will be a ‘great asset for Lennox’, he concedes that Council are yet to see how the commercial component will be developed.
And like West Byron, there is concern over traffic management.
Ballina councillor Jeff Johnson told The Echo Ballina Council approved the traffic management plan despite the road infrastructure yet to be approved.
‘Most traffic will be diverted through Montwood Drive, which is a dangerous road as it is,’ he said.
Mayor Wright did say a ring road will eventually be built, however, which could mean shorter travel times to Ballina.
As for environmental outcomes, Cr Johnson says, ‘It could be a lot a worse; there are rainforest plantings and a wildlife corridor planned.’
‘It’s actually a great improvement on what’s there. Currently it’s degraded cattle property.’
As for other developments throughout Ballina Shire, Cr Johnson says over 1,000 blocks have been approved. ‘So there’s no land shortage for the building trades.’
‘[But] there’s a worry that Lennox will more than double in the next 10 to 20 years,’ he said. ‘There’s not enough data on social and traffic impacts on how the town will cope.’