Plans to turn NSW Rail owned land on Prince Street in Mullumbimby, opposite the former Carsburg garage, into temporary accommodation, appear to moving forward, with Mayor, Michael Lyon, telling The Echo that the planning department approved Council’s request for a change of use last week.
Yet it appears Council are yet to present a plan to the government on how it would work, and there is no timeframe.
At last Thursday’s Council meeting, resident Michele Grant, representing the Brunswick Valley Community Care Council Inc, asked councillors if they had considered putting prefab homes on the site, and said, ‘We have not been included in any discussions. Why?’
Ms Grant The Echo the Care Council, ‘was incorporated in the 1980s and helped get the Bruns Community Centre built during the ’90s, with the respite care and meals and wheels up and running’.
Ms Grant said that when she met Mayor Michael Lyon in February, he wouldn’t reveal what plans TransportNSW and/or Council had for the large parcel of rail land on Prince Street. Ms Grant added she is concerned there are no minutes available from any Council meetings with TransportNSW, and there have been no meetings with community reps to tell them what’s happening.
The Echo asked the mayor if this was correct.
He replied, ‘I told Michele that the area opposite Council’s car park had been flagged for extra parking for the town’.
‘I did not say anything regarding the Carsburg’s area, and there have been no formal meetings on the issue’.
‘I have personally lobbied the planning department and the premier for that land to be used for affordable housing in the long-term, but without any detail or reference to plans, other than saying that we understood that TAHE, the landowner, had plans for parts of that land to realise a return and we thought a better outcome was to develop the whole site for affordable housing’.
In regards to Ms Grant’s claims of secrecy around negotations, Cr Lyon said, ‘I am committed to transparency and have always strived to keep our community well-informed of any developments as they occur’.