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.