Russell Eldridge, Brunswick Heads
Brunswick Heads is about to be hit with its biggest development upheaval in decades, with the re-emergence of an old plan approved, in principle, years ago by the State government.
Developer Clarence Property proposes to nearly double the size of Bayside Brunswick, with 130 house lots and an unspecified number of medium-density dwellings.
Residents recently lost a bitter battle over a far more modest Bayside development – the 38-room Corso development. But this draft plan, known as Brunswick Estate, will dwarf that, and the medium-density section will be smack-bang next to the Corso.
To be fair, the new developer has made a genuine attempt to improve the old plan. It has reduced the number of house lots by 31, increased the minimum lot size, expanded protection for the koala corridor and the endangered wallum froglet, and reduced the overall environmental footprint.
But what is most astonishing about this plan is the apathy of the community and councillors. This development application (DA) came up for public comment in January 2020. I wrote a detailed submission against it, The Echo ran a substantial story, and printed my letter. But there was zero community reaction and zero comment by councillors.
It’s almost as if Bayside is becoming the dumping ground for developments that would be shouted down in the ‘cool’ parts of the Shire. Remember the disdain with which Ocean Shores was treated, and Sunrise Beach?
I’m not against the expansion of Bayside in principle, but this is huge. People should be aware of the implications for bushfire risk, hundreds more cars and service vehicles negotiating that dodgy T-junction with the old highway; lack of parks for kids to play; hundreds of people walking through the fragile bushland to get to unspoilt Simpsons Creek.
Go to www.brunswickestate.com.au and see for yourself.