There is a lot of misinformation floating around regarding the DA for an industrial/manufacturing development at the gateway to our beautiful heritage village of Bangalow.
To clarify: the development itself has nothing to do with the local ‘Food Collective’, except some members of the collective have shown interest in possibly renting factory space from the developer.
I’m sure many of us support a ‘local food initiative’ where local producers can manufacture and distribute their products. No problem there – but this is not the issue at hand, and this is not what residents are objecting to.
The DA is actually for an industrial/factory precinct. This DA should be looked at from a planning perspective and from that perspective there are many reasons why the proposed development must be refused.
With our rich soils and high rainfall, agricultural land may be our shire’s greatest asset. We need to preserve identified agricultural land for the potential of growing crops and trees.
The proposed development is on 65 acres of good quality farm land, zoned RU1 ‘Primary Production’. Activity other than agricultural on RU1 land eg. commercial or industrial must be linked to the actual farm it is sited upon.
As there is no link between the land and the factories proposed, the DA conflicts with the objectives of the RU1 zone.
Nobody is arguing against the concept of a ‘food hub’, but prime agricultural land is not the place for a massive industrial scale development that may or may not eventually resemble a ‘food hub’. Industrial estates have many more options as to where they are located.
The town of Bangalow derives much of its income from tourism. Tourists and locals have both identified the ‘low key village atmosphere and charm’ as what most attracts them to the town.
A large factory complex at our gateway is not in keeping with the charm and character that makes Bangalow special.
The increase in traffic generated would have a very negative impact on the town. Big trucks roaring through the main street would be a nightmare for small businesses and cafes. Trucks travelling north must travel through the residential area, equally unacceptable.
Council’s Master Plan for Bangalow is in process and no development of this scale or with the potential to impact in such a major way on our town’s social, environmental or village character should be considered until we have our Master Plan in place.
Sue Taylor, Bangalow Planning Network