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Residents fear affordable housing project may become ghetto

CONCERNS: Green Vision Developments managing director Scott Wharton discusses his vision for the area with concerned residents on Fisher Street.
CONCERNS: Green Vision Developments managing director Scott Wharton discusses his vision for the area with concerned residents on Fisher Street. Marc Stapelberg

A DEVELOPER has met with Goonellabah residents in an attempt to allay concerns about the proposed $22-million ALTITUDE2480 development adjoining Fischer St and Casuarina Dr.

Scott Wharton, Green Vision Developments managing director, met with more than 20 residents in Fischer St yesterday for a productive, and sometimes heated, discussion about the development application.

Residents questioned him about the sustainable development and he attempted to quell speculation that the project, featuring 222 units on 12.94 hectares, will resemble a "ghetto".

"I appreciate your concerns," he told the group.

"But I think if you've got time to sit down, I can show you we've thought about every single part of this, especially the social sustainability."

Tania Fry, the protest group's spokeswoman, lives close to the proposed development's location and said residents have many concerns.

"Primary concerns are there has been no consideration how the residents in this proposed developments will live," she said.

"This area is uninhabitable - it's been used for cattle for a number of years. It was supposed to be housing for Southern Cross students, but that didn't go ahead.

"It begs the question, why is that the case?"

Ms Fry said some residents already experience erosion due to stormwater runoff and are worried further development will worsen the problem.

Residents also noted concerns about environmental issues, outdated aerial maps used in the application, traffic problems, privacy issues, new units not matching the area's family demographic, overuse of amenities and infrastructure and security.

Mr Wharton, who hopes to see the application approved late this year, dismissed many of the concerns and said they largely resulted from misinformation.

While many residents were not visibly pleased with his explanations, others seemed somewhat satisfied with responses.

The Friends of Fisher Street group's current paper petition has gathered more than 160 signatures and an online petition is now being created. They can be contacted at friendsoffischerstreet@hotmail.com.

Topics:  affordable housing, goonellabah, sustainable housing




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