How the future of Tweed Shire and the north coast will develop is being shaped by the North Coast Regional Plan (NCRP) 2041. This is the plan that sets out the overall direction and potential futures for the local council areas and the broader region in general.
According to the NCRP 2041 ‘The draft plan is the 20-year strategic blueprint that sets the framework, vision and direction for land-use planning on the North Coast.’
Tweed Shire Council have provided significant feedback for the NCRP 2041 which, at their last planning meeting (1 September), was moulded to ensure that the Tweed communities aims and objectives were reflected in the plan rather than just those of the bureaucrats bringing together the NCRP 2041.
Have your say
They are also asking for residents to provide feedback by completing an online survey. To complete the survey, visit yoursaytweed.com.au/growth-
‘This is an incredibly important document, it sets our priorities for the next 20 years,’ said Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent).
Tweed is recognised as being one of the largest and fastest growing areas in regional NSW, the resident survey seeks to understand the community’s views on how to best accommodate that growth in a way that considers what they value most about the Tweed and also ensures the Shire is ready for the future.
The survey seeks to capture what is important to the community when it comes to housing and employment opportunities and the results will help inform the development of a Growth Management and Housing Strategy said Cr Cherry.
‘This is a really well considered submission [from staff] and we are also adding some further feedback from the community representative perspective.’
Cr Cherry highlighted that the staff had recognised that what was planned 30 years ago is not necessarily the best use of that land going forward and that things have changed significantly over the last 30 years.
Strengthening environmental protection
Recognising the ‘internationally significant environment’ and the ‘biodiversity’ of the region were two key terms inserted into the document replacing more nebulous terms like ‘stunning’ and ‘spectacular’ so that they can be quantified into future action and protection of essential key environments and characteristics of the region. ‘Environmental care and restoration’ and clearly stating that sustainable and plantation forestry were the future and that utilising native forestry was unacceptable were also key additions.
Councillor Dr Nolal Firth once again championed the exclusion of wood and contaminated waste from Biowaste. Cr Firth highlighted that wood is precious and small pieces of so called waste need to be used as engineered wood for flooring etc while contaminated urban waste burning causes serious air pollution problems.
Like the entire north coast Tweed Shire has been struggling with the affordability of housing, therefore a key issue raised was facilitating the timely release of housing and ensuring that affordable housing was available.
Tweed Shire has significant swathes of housing that have been approved for development including Kings Forest having an 4,500 dwellings and Gales Holdings development at Kingscliff 2,100 as well as the Cobaki development with another 5,500 lots.
The submissions to the NCRP 2041 sought to recognise that short term rental accommodation (STRA) is and continues to have, a significant ‘impact on housing availability and affordability’. The council sought an increase in the ‘delivery of social housing to the four per cent state average’ as well as to ‘Introduce levers to get existing residential zoned land to market to improve delivery of housing in a strategic and coordinated way that matches provision of infrastructure.’
Identifying the need for interconnected communities with modern infrastructure to include electric busses, light rail and bike paths was also key to the submissions.
This also recognised the importance of shade in urban heat environments, net-zero emissions and circular economy initiatives, and that ‘future development is climate change resistant and resilient’.
‘I think we do an incredible amount of work to try and make sure that we’re hearing what the community says and this is trying to feed that into that higher level plan; so that the state government can be can be very conscious and acting in a way that is consistent with what our community really wants for our area,’ said Mayor Cherry.