Aureus Development Delayed

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Ballina Shire Council voted today to defer the approval of the Skennars Head Aureus development opposite Sharps Beach.

The decision comes after local residents showed their disapproval for the original plans earlier in the year, which included the installation of traffic lights on the Coast Road. At that time Council determined that traffic lights were not appropriate. Since then the developer has replaced the lights with a roundabout.

However, the latest concerns cited by President of the Lennox Head Residents’ Association, Monica Wilcox, who made a deputation to Council today on the issue, include:

  • lack of green and open space or buffer between the houses and the road
  • proposed density of some of the dwellings
  • increase (by 15 times the original proposal) in the size of the commercial zone
  • developers referring to the development as ‘affordable housing’ when there is no indication that the dwellings will be any more affordable than others in the region.

During her deputation, Ms Wilcox said, ‘This is an iconic stretch of coastline with hinterland expanse – it comes with social responsibilities that the people of the Ballina Shire expect these developers to live up to.

We don’t want to roll over that headland and into a The Truman Show film set.’

Ms Wilcox also said that she believed the developer’s original community consultation did not reflect community concerns. She also suggested that the original plans were a distraction, that attracted much response, only so they could ‘slip’ the more ‘audcious plans’ in at a later date.

Councillor Jeff Johnson says he also has, ‘serious concerns about the strip development along the Coast Road from Lennox to Ballina, and this development is part of that, so we have to do it properly.’

‘There is also huge concern about the loss of a special view and a relatively open, green stretch of coastline. 

‘I would like to see a lot of plantings to provide a buffer between the housing development and the road.

‘Furthermore, what the developer is calling the ‘neighbourhood centre’ is actually a commercial precinct. 

‘While I understand that development is inevitable, I believe we need to monitor progress,’ he says.

 

3 Responses

  1. Lavender

    Well said Monica, and thanks to the Lennox Head Residents’ Assoc. for keeping a watch over this and other matters.

    I agree that the original so called consultation was not up to par. And that the ploy of getting the initial plans through, with the later changes attracting less attention is not to be tolerated.

    These coastal developments must be given very close scrutiny, but in order to do this the information from the developer should be detailed and clear. I was not impressed when I went to their consultation and they fobbed off questions, seemed to not understand that there should be a mix of housing sizes and types and that block areas should relate to this requirement.

    And please let’s ensure that Council keeps a watch that none of those pine trees are removed or heavily pruned.

    Finally, open space and extended view of the coastline are important to be guarded, as these are disappearing too quickly along out north coast.

    Reply
  2. Monica

    Thanks Lavender
    Pssst – I’m all for those Norfolk Pines going & replaced by a swathe of endemic littorial plantings.
    The pines were over-planted in the 90’s on the road and the sand dunes where they wreck the stability of the dunes because natives can’t grow.
    I can remember when it was just native coastal plants (littorial) which followed the lovely lines of the sand dunes. Magic.

    Reply
  3. Courtney Sharrett (Wilson)

    I studied abroad in Lennox Head in 2008. I can still vividly picture the view and how the pure beauty all along coast Road. I hope one day to return, but even if I don’t I would hate to see the stretch of beautiful landscape from Lennox to Ballina overcrowded and ruined by dense new developments.

    Reply

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