At Ballina Shire Council’s June meeting, my motion calling on council to amend its LEP (local environmental plan) to prevent the construction of three-storey McMansions in our residential areas was not supported.
This is despite a two-storey height limit being a long held position within the Ballina shire.
The NSW Government’s LEP ‘template’ changes the way building heights are calculated and have removed the previous restriction on three-storey buildings.
It is my understanding that several other local government areas have included a 2 story height limit into their LEPs so I can’t see why Ballina Council can’t do the same.
There have already been a number of three-storey residential buildings approved which cause privacy and overshadowing issues for those unfortunate enough to live next door.
Who wants to wake up one day and discover an 8.5-metre-high wall is going to be constructed less than a metre from their property boundary?
A little while back the Lennox Head Cultural Report commissioned by council identified that a key concern of the community was to maintain the village atmosphere and seaside cottage culture as much as possible.
Why would council then allow McMansion style developments to proliferate in conflict with the clearly stated community view?
With so many new estates opening up around Wollongbar, Ballina Heights and Lennox Head, council should be doing all it can to stop bulky McMansion style developments from being approved.
Certainly progress and change are inevitable, however, council should do all it can to control and manage development in accordance with the needs of our community so that the culture, atmosphere and amenity can continue to be enjoyed, and the bulk and height of three-storey McMansions prevented.
Hopefully, the next council will reconsider this issue and ensure that new developments are in line with the community’s expectations.
Cr Jeff Johnson, Lennox Head