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Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Ballina becoming ‘concrete jungle like Tweed’

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The Coast Road at Skennars Head is in danger of being blighted by strip development and traffic lights, according to Ballina Shire Cr Jeff Johnson. Photo Experimental Ghost
The Coast Road at Skennars Head is in danger of being blighted by strip development and traffic lights, according to Ballina Shire Cr Jeff Johnson. Photo Experimental Ghost

Ballina Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson is calling on his fellow councillors to reaffirm their preference for a roundabout at the intersection of the Coast Road and Headlands Drive to ‘send a clear message to the developers of Stewart’s Farm’ that council is opposed to traffic lights in the area.

Cr Johnson will raise the issue in a motion at Thursday’s Ballina Council meeting, together with other strategies he hopes will prevent Ballina emulating the Tweed Coast, which he says is ‘fast becoming a concrete jungle’.

‘Council has long argued that a roundabout is the most appropriate way to manage the increasing amount of traffic that enters the Coast Road from Skennars Head via Headlands Drive,’ he said.

‘Traffic lights would be a scar on the landscape and, according to council engineers, are not needed. Not only that, traffic lights consume power and require maintenance, all of which will be the responsibility of Ballina Council going forward, Mr Johnson added.

Dr Stewart’s farm is the last green’ space separating Ballina from Skennars Head and Council needs to ensure that this proposed 500 lot subdivision meets the community’s expectations.’

Cr Johnson said ‘the subdivision is coming whether council likes it or not’ after the NSW Government recently approved the rezoning.

‘Another important aspect will be to plant out a buffer zone between the houses and the Coast Road to ensure we don’t have another situation like we have immediately to the north of Headlands Drive, where Council spends thousands of dollars a year mowing what is effectively the extended front yards of the McMansions that overlook the beach,’ he said.

‘Ballina is coming under increasing development pressure and the decisions council makes in the next few years will go a long way to either preserving our local amenity or not.

‘I’m personally not in favour of strip development all along our coastline.

‘There is a real risk that Ballina will lose the relaxed country town vibe that is what attracts people to our area to begin with.

‘I’m concerned that we are heading the way of the Tweed Coast which is fast becoming a concrete jungle,’ said Cr Johnson.

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  1. A local told me that the local water resources mainly in the form of a dam are being drakned to supply the water needs of Ballina. Incressing the population means more water will be used and the farmers lose out. Taking away trees and vegetaion has a negative impact on rwinfsll and surface water due to the locsl ,icroclimste becoming hotter and dtirr. Try standing on or near bitumen on a hot day. What do we tell the grandchildren of the present generation.

  2. We need to look at this as community and council whether we need another 500 new blocks of land especially after the new Epiq estate in Lennox , not to mention Ballina heights .
    Can our infrastructure cope ?and why so much development so soon ?


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