Private developers must be salivating and wanting to know how does NSW Crown Holiday Parks (NSWCHPT) have so much good faith with Byron councillors?
On 14 December, they gave them a three-year approval to operate (ATO) for both Massey Greene and Ferry Reserve caravan parks before their concept Plans of Management (POM), otherwise known as development plans, have gone on public exhibition or approved by the Minister.
This is akin to giving developers the go ahead with their development wish list before it is approved.
Led by Cr Sarah Ndiaye and backed by mayor Simon Richardson, the audio on Item 13.10 is telling of their disengagement from the community.
At stake in these parks, but stated by Cr Ndiaye, as ‘wasn’t a whole lot of issues over these two parks’ were the following:
- a) the setback from the top of the riverbank along the length of the northern boundary of Massey Greene to any built structure permanent or otherwise;
- b) approx 50% of the developer’s 3,171sqm “Public Foreshore – riverfront public open space” goes under water;
- c) the developer’s intention to acquire 1,300sqm of Council’s road reserve along Tweed Street and add this to its operational area. Nothing in the concept POM references any compensation to Council for adding an area equivalent to 20 short term sites to its commercial operation. Nor is there any acknowledgement that it gives advantage to the developer by relocating the starting point for measuring the 10m setback from the top of the rock wall over a road reserve on the east of Massy Greene;
- d) acknowledge what is known by senior Crown Lands officers involved in the Brunswick Heads’ Boat Harbour Master plan , that NSWCHPT doesn’t have the physical space for the proposed Harbour Edge Rehabilitation on the western side of Massy Greene unless it is prepared to give back to the public part of Lot 7005, and at Ferry:
- e) the intended loss of the foreshore parkland
- f) ‘privatising’ by default the public boat ramp, and
- g) rehabilitation of the koala wildlife corridor along the foreshore.
Would private developers be given equivalent to an ‘Occupancy Certificate’ if substantive issues were unresolved? And here we were dealing with Council giving over invaluable public assets to NSWCHPT’s commercial operation! Instead, Cr Ndiaye’s position was ‘ it would be great if we could save our energy for debate on other things’.
The aforementioned issues were dismissed by mayor Richardson in his utterance,”…there are those that will simply oppose every aspect of this until it is finally done, every aspect of any negotiation on any development that North Coast Holiday Parks will do, will be resisted and that can be deserved or undeserved. I don’t want to comment on that…..”
Having dismissed community concerns , I last saw Crs Ndiaye and Richardson practising their ‘walking on water skills’ in preparation of using the developer’s ‘riverfront public open space’ at Massey Greene.
Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads