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Byron Shire
March 27, 2023

Tweed boathouse conversion plan faces legal snag

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Tweed shire councillors are set to consider defending an appeal against their refusal of a plan to convert a boathouse on a prominent beachfront site at Kingscliff into a combined dwelling/boathouse with road access and parking.

At tomorrow night’s planning committee meeting, shire planners have recommended defending the appeal lodged by the developer of the Casuarina township nearby, Consolidated Properties, on behalf of the owner of the boathouse at Point Break Circuit in the Salt development, Lindstro Pty Ltd.

Last November, council refused the development application to alter the boathouse to include a dwelling, with the developer saying it was needed mainly for protection against vandalism from parties in an adjoining reserve by having a caretaker living there and keeping an eye on things.

Vehicle access over community land to get to the boathouse, currently a pathway, had also been sought for the caretaker and visitors.

But council planners deemed the plan inappropriate for several reasons, including inconsistency with the tourism objectives of the Tweed Local Environmental Plan 2000, coastal protection and vehicular access over public land.

The application also sought two car-parking spaces, one in a garage.

Council planning chief Vince Connell said in his report that during the public exhibition of the plan last September, 29 submissions were received objecting to it.

Mr Connell said council’s legal staff had advised that ‘given the level of public objection to the proposal, approval for the use of the land for regular vehicle access is considered unlikely based on the information provided to date and public response to the application’.

He said that similarly, staff were advised over the ‘rights of footway’ benefits of the public pathway access to the adjoining boat ramp.

‘It is considered that the issue of vehicular access to the site may be considered separately as a pretext to the preparation of the Statement of Facts and Contentions for the Class1 Appeal, given the legal status of the adjoining community land and restrictions imposed upon the use of such land,’ Mr Connell said.

‘The approved Salt Master plan identifies the subject site as being the location of a boathouse. Condition 5 of the 2002 Salt development consent required the submission of a separate application for the development of this boathouse, jetty and boat ramp.

‘The boathouse and adjoining amenities including BBQ area, covered picnic tables and jetty were approved in conjunction with DA05/0028 in August 2005.

‘This 2005 approval facilitated the construction of the boathouse with room for boat storage, office and amenities.

‘Boats stored onsite are restricted to non-motorised craft and are used in conjunction with a hiring business operating from the site.’

‘The site is burdened by a Section 88B instrument benefitting Tweed Shire Council for the purposes of a footway from adjoining public land to the boat ramp upon the subject site.

‘This footway is located on the southern side of the existing building and incudes the southern deck area.

‘This footway will be impacted by the construction of a 1.2m high fence along the southern and eastern boundary, severely restricting access to this easement and the adjoining boat ramp and it is advised that no consultation or application has been received to vary the current Section 88B instrument.

‘It is noted that the boathouse building itself is in private ownership upon private land, however the boat ramp is under Council’s Licence with the Crown Number LI379377 as of 20 March 2014’ and the licence ‘includes the adjoining jetty,’ Mr Connell said.

The site, staff said was also within a mapped bushfire prone area.

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