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Byron Shire
December 1, 2022

What is the value of a DCP ask Kingscliff residents

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Paradiso complex Kingscliff. Photo Wotif.

What is the value of a council’s development control plan (DCP)?

This is the question being asked after Tweed Shire Councillors approved the change of use development application (DA) for eight flats at the Paradiso tourist accommodation facility in Kingscliff from ‘tourist’ to ‘dual-use residential’ accommodation. 

A similar DA to allow the dedicated tourist accommodation to become dual-use permanent residential and serviced apartments in central Kingscliff was rejected unanimously in July 2021.

The Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association (KRPA) had written to councillors asking themto hold firm on behalf of our community’ and refuse the DA. However, the councillors cited legal advice and rolled over allowing the DA to proceed. 

‘Owners buying into Paradiso are aware of the zoning requirement and pay considerably less for their properties because permanent residency is not permitted,’ said Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association Inc (KRPA) in their submission to Tweed Shire Council (TSC), objecting to the change of use. 

‘The approval of this DA, while providing a substantial financial benefit for the applicants, would have a negative impact on the Kingscliff Town Centre and the community generally.’

They reference the Tweed Shire Council Public Inquiry (August 2005) – known as the Daly Report – pointing out that from page 232 onwards, for at least 20 pages or more, references examples of tourist developments being used as a back door to obtain high yields and also how these developments were approved without the tourism specific conditions required. You will also note the strong, highly relevant, Council references to the critical importance of dedicated tourist accommodation to the Shire and Kingscliff town centre itself.’

Unhappy

Both Mayor Chris Chery (Independent) and Deputy Mayor Reece Byrnes (Labor) expressed concern at the passing of the DA. However, they both voted in favour of the DA with Byrnes pointing to the cost of fighting the issue in court as a deciding factor. He said ‘that the council is facing issues outside and bigger than its control when it comes to the money that we have in our kitty and the ability that we have to fight matters in the court’.

This seems to be an ongoing issue for cash-poor council’s who often approve DAs on the basis that the deep pockets of the developer are too much of a risk to say no’ to. 

The previous DA for the change in 2021 was refused and KRPA asked ‘Apart from the provision of an untested economic benefit statement from the proponent, what has changed from the resolution of 1 July 2021, when Council Officers recommended refusal based on the reasons below and Councillors unanimously voted to refuse the similar Paradiso DAs?

  1. In accordance with s4.15 1(a)(i) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 the development is not considered to meet objective s1.3(c) of the Act to promote the orderly and economic use and development of the land as there are limited tourist dwellings of this nature in a single location in this key tourist locality, and reducing the number of dedicated tourist dwellings in this centrally located complex has the potential to reduce the towns ability to function as an economic driver for tourism, particularly impacting on the capacity for large group bookings needed for business conferences and events. 
  2. In accordance with s4.15 1(e) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 the development is not considered to be in the public interest as there is limited tourist accommodation in this coastal location that is highly popular and should be available to be shared and enjoyed to meet a wide diversity of tourism and business needs.’

Cr Cherry said she is very concerned about the precedent that a decision may set in terms of allowing this to occur but it was not enough to vote against the rescission. 

‘KRPA was naturally disappointed with this outcome, given that almost identical DAs were refused just over 12 months ago. We understand that Councillor’s were placed in a difficult position, but fear that this decision will have a retrograde flow-on effect on the whole community, including business and tourism,’ said KRPA president Peter Newton.

‘If the Kingscliff development control plan (DCP) cannot protect our community from a handful of self-interested investors, then it’s time for a review.’ 

Polglase voted

Councillor Warren Polglase (Conservative) once again stayed and voted on the DA even though he had previously recused himself from the vote in  2021 due to a conflict of interest.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. If a blind eye can be turned, by the state, in relation to residential dwellings being used for tourist accommodation, why not the reverse? Why not allow tourist accommodation to be used for residential dwelling purposes? If an insider developer holding options can make easy money via planning approvals, why cannot the average mum and dad do the same? Why cannot the peon sheep buy cheap and then make a killing on an easy development consent? Political insiders do this every day of the week? This is why political parties retain this power . On the other side of the coin, with the current short term letting situation, one could argue that, in contemporary times, short term letting use and residential dwelling use are both the same use – i.e. characterised as the same – whether the consent is for a residential dwelling or otherwise. I would not have even bothered with the DA and just used the property for residential use. What are these Council clowns going to do, get an injunction to stop the residential use? From a public policy perspective in the legal sense, Council would then also be required to take action to stop tourist accommodation in residential properties in the same manner. The planning system is a joke. Funny how the peon sheep fight to prevent other peon sheep making some drinking money from our corrupt planning system. Crabs in the bucket are the objectors.

  2. John
    The simple truth, as admitted by the Mayor in a media interview on 10 November, is that the Paradiso and similar ‘tourist accommodation’ developments were never subject to any occupancy time limits. The Developers cashed in on this – they sold the apartments at a premium to residential only consent. The ‘furphy’ that these people only own hotel rooms has unfairly savaged their re-sale valuations.

  3. These clowns have no trouble living with themselves. Their hip pocketing is just the way of things. Crabs crawl sideways? You bet on it.

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