At last night’s Tweed Council meeting there was a late, urgent Mayoral Minute seeking the Planning Minister’s support in relation to the controversial $250m health and education precinct currently being proposed on State Significant Farmland near Kingscliff on the Cudgen Plateau.
The site is at 741 Cudgen Road, Cudgen, next to the new Tweed Valley Hospital, and it proposes building on SSF. At the time that the hospital site was re-zoned from SSF to allow the hospital to be built the local community were promised by local Nationals MP Geoff Provest that ‘locating the new hospital on SSF would not “open the floodgates to further development”.’
The developer for the ‘Cudgen Connection’ development, represented by Allan Larkin, Digital Infratech Director, presented their position to Tweed councillors for the development on Wednesday afternoon based on the argument that the site should not have been included in the original 600 hectares that were designated SSF in 2005.
The Mayoral Minute seeks the planning ministers support to work with the developers ‘to identify a suitable site on appropriately zoned and categorised land that would see an ability for the vision to be realised in way that does not encroach upon State Significant Farmland’ (see full motion at end of story).
Ministers support Provest
Responding to questions from The Echo both the NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts and Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders have both confirmed that they support local member Geoff Provest’s position.
Mr Saunders yesterday told The Echo that ‘The NSW Government made a commitment to protecting the remaining Cudgen farmland in the Tweed Shire. I support the local member and thank Geoff Provest for his advocacy in ensuring this land is protected for the Tweed Shire community’.
Mr Roberts told The Echo on Wednesday 16 February that, ‘The NSW Government made a commitment to protecting the remaining Cudgen farmland in the Tweed Shire. I support the local member and thank Geoff Provest for his advocacy in ensuring this land is protected for the Tweed Shire community’.
The motion was supported by all councillors present. Councillor Warren Polglase was absent from the meeting.
‘That the Mayor urgently write to the Minister for Planning and Housing in respect of the “Cudgen Connections” redevelopment proposal and planning proposal (seeking to create a private hospital, medi-hotel, allied healthcare, rehab pool, gym, aged care facilities, essential worker housing, community hub, farmers’ market, eateries and an amphitheatre set in parklands on 5.7 hectares) on the site known as No. 741 Cudgen Road Cudgen, and currently in a pre-lodgement consultation phase with Council, identifying these critical concerns:
- The possible loss of State Significant Farmland; and
- The potential to break a previous commitment to the local community by the NSW State Government that there would be no further expansion into the State Significant Farmland following the advancement of the new Tweed Valley Regional Hospital.
3. Requests that the Government give consideration to working with the proponents to identify a suitable site on appropriately zoned and categorised land that would see an ability for the vision to be realised in way that does not encroach upon State Significant Farmland.’