Changes to building height limits for Kingscliff and the development of parklands and buildings that impacted on some environmentally sensitive areas were two of the sticking issues that led to the rejection of the Gales Holdings rezoning proposal by the Tweed Shire Council at last weeks meeting.
Gales Holdings had submitted a proposed ‘Gateway’ determination to the Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE), seeking a planning rezoning related to their Kingscliff Master Plan development.
Speaking to The Echo Tweed Shire Council Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) said, ‘We have just finished Kingscliff Locality Plan (KLP). Then to have something put forward that ignored that – what they are proposing is not the kind of proposal that fits in with the KLP.’
Key areas of concern were the encroachment on environmentally sensitive areas, impacts on pubic space requirements, and pushing up height limits.
Tweed Shire Councillors unanimously passed a motion that forwarded the council report to the Northern Rivers Planning Panel (NRPP) that does not endorse the re-zoning proposal as put by Gales.
The motion further requested that the proponent, Gales Holdings, ‘work collaboratively with Council in reconciling the different views regarding the planning proposal as submitted that they withdraw from the review process with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and identify precisely what amendments they are prepared to make to meet the Council’s identified position in respect to the development and zoning of the land in question.’
Push to increase building heights
However, Gales Holdings Director, Stephen Segal told The Echo that they would not be withdrawing the proposal.
Mr Segal said that Gales believes that the KLP process was confusing for the community and that ‘they [Council] did so many different versions that people stopped reading them. I think that our planning proposal is much more in line with the council led enquiry by design workshop than the current KLP is’.
Gales Holdings rezoning involved increasing the height limits in some areas above the currently zoned 13.6 metres across the district to 16.6 metres along Turnock Street and then a range of 20 to 28 metres in the business park precinct of the development.
‘As far as multi-storey, with a focus on the business and knowledge precinct, council wanted a commercial turf farm and augmented sewer and treatment plant. Gales overturned through the court (1999–2000). The council then re-zoned it to industrial, Gales overturned that again. Then with the Enquiry by Design and first KLP exhibition council proposed multi-storey in part of the business and knowledge precinct (2016) which Gales supported. Now the KLP adopted in 2020 has gone to three storey maximum everywhere and Gales doesn’t agree with that,’ Mr Segal told The Echo.
‘Gales planning proposal is much more consistent with the Enquiry by Design workshop outcomes and the community recommendations and the shopfront exhibition community feedback than the adopted KLP/DCP adopted in 2020. ‘
‘The main difference are building heights and public parklands. Instead of public parklands council sought ecological restoration – council refused to seek community feedback on that. We had extremely strong support from an online survey that we did for the parklands.’
KRPA supports Council
However, community responses to the proposed rezoning pointed out that the proposal wasn’t consistent with Council and State government development, zoning, and planning requirements in relation to height, environment, open space, and affordable housing provisions.
‘Our members are heartened that Council and Councillors have strongly rejected the Gales proposal,’ Peter Newton, President of the Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association Inc (KRPA) told The Echo.
‘The proposal as it stands goes completely against the fabric and liveability of our wonderful district. If Gales is seeking some change to current zoning and planning laws in order to facilitate their development needs, then there is a long way to go before the proposal would resemble anything close to being acceptable to the community. Our members would urge Gales to engage and work in good faith with Council in order to achieve a balanced outcome.’