Correction 23 July: The variation was deferred not refused.
The estimated $13,800,000 manufactured home development (DA17/0358.01) slated for 30 Fraser Drive, Tweed Heads South was seeking a variation to its development consent to allow the building of the manufactured homes onsite rather than offsite as required by the legislation.
Three options were put forward by Tweed Shire Council staff 1. to support the construction of the manufactured estate on site, 2. To support it with some specific sites excluded and 3. to refuse the request.
Allow them to build
Councillor Warren Polglase (Conservative) proposed that council allow the manufactured homes to be built on site. This was seconded by Councillor Pryce Allsop (Conservative).
Councillor Polglase argued that with the big demand for these types of homes that they should allow it to happen onsite. He also noted that the council had previously allowed manufactured homes to be built onsite at the caravan park at Banora because they couldn’t get the trucks with the houses on them under the bridges.
Refuse onsite construction
However, Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) argued against allowing the houses to be built on site and moved an amendment that supported the third staff recommendation that the council refuse the onsite construction. This motion was seconded by Councillor Katie Milne (Greens).
‘I think we obviously we do need this kind of home estate to be built and I do support it. But the legislation there for a reason, to protect the amenity of residents,’ said Mayor Cherry.
Speaking against the amendment by Crs Cherry and Milne, Cr Allsop argued that by not having them constructed onsite that they may be losing jobs for locals in Tweed.
‘I guess we are going to have people potentially constructing these homes outside of Tweed, maybe in Queensland,’ he told the meeting.
‘I just think there is a lot more potential for construction on the site [for] local jobs. There will be cost impacts by bringing in large trucks. There will be a lot less impacts and a lot less issues with the site being a development site and not bringing in big trucks that will be manoeuvring on that road.’
Councillor Milne spoke in favour of the amendment and rejecting the onsite building of the manufactured home telling the meeting that there is ‘law in place that these things should be constructed off site. We should only veer away from that if that is warranted.’
‘They haven’t done enough work. Cr Allsop may be right in regards to the jobs but he might not be right. There just hasn’t been enough evidence to say we should veer away from this. What is the alternative impact? We need a more substantial justification than “this will just be better”. They do not want to transport to the site because it must be more financially beneficial. They know that they are supposed to be manufactured off site. They should have gone into the detail like Cr Allsop suggested… but they haven’t.’
Other concerns raised were the impact on existing residents of the drawn out onsite building process and the fact that ‘some of the neighbouring residents are only four meters away’ according to Mayor Cherry.
Cr Allsop then foreshadowed the amendment by Cherry and Milne to defer the vote to seek further information.
Council resolved that council defers this item and seeks further advice on the justification to build onsite including but not limited to comparative analysis of on-/off-site build in regards to the size of trucks, crane required, where the manufactured home will be purchased and supplied from, can they build in one location on site and move to final position? number of movements for off site build and estimated time for on site construction.
The matter will be brought back to the 5 August council meeting for a final decision.