Park residents nervous over subdivision development
By PATRIZIA REIMER
THE sight of large construction%machines moving tonnes of dirt across the road has made Louis Molloy nervous about flooding.
Residents watching massive earthworks on a 238-lot subdivision on the Pacific Highway at the northern end of Ballina for the past couple of weeks have been left wondering if they will be inundated during the next big rains.
Mr Molloy, a Ballina Gardens Caravan Park resident, is worried because a drain that clears water from the caravan park runs under the Pacific Highway and on to the development site.
“I realised, along with a lot of other residents here, that we have natural drainage from the van park which runs under the Pacific Highway into a natural drainage course on the other side of the road,” Mr Molloy said.
“It’s not that we believe that they are going to destroy it, all we want is some certainty that what they are doing is not going to interfere with that drainage so that our homes are protected.”
The project, previously a 234-lot subdivision called River Oaks, has changed recently into a 238-lot development called Ferngrove.
It is being developed by Rayshield Pty Ltd, and one of its owners, Geoff Rose, said they hoped to start stage one and two works this year.
The developers received a construction certificate from the Ballina Shire Council to start bulk earthworks as part of their original development consent, which expires in March.
The council’s town planner, Rod Willis, said these earthworks were not the shaping and topping of the site, but basic raw fill material, and that further approvals would need to be gained before proceeding beyond this.
“The aspect of drainage from the eastern or northern side of the highway has been an important part from the beginning, right from the original rezoning," he said.
"It’s very low-lying and flat land, so there’s only a very small fall for the run-off and drainage and that area is always problematic in heavy rain events. The drainage on this site can’t fix the drainage of the whole locality.”
Mr Rose said he would be happy to discuss the project at a later date, and promised an interview with The Northern Star soon.
In the meantime, Louis Molloy said he hoped the developers and council would involve local residents in the process.