Preserve Condon?s Hill, says community leader
By DAWN COHEN and BREE PRICE
LENNOX Head Residents' Association head Brian Smith has praised a recommendation by Ballina Shire Council staff to rezone Condon's Hill to limit development.
The rezoning, if backed by councillors at tomorrow's council meeting, will effectively block a proposal by the hill's owner, Margaret Condon, to build a 148-unit seniors living development on the site.
Mr Smith said he could not imagine Lennox Head without the green backdrop of Condon's Hill and supported the rezoning.
He was one of almost 1000 people who made submissions to the council to show either support or objection to the proposed rezoning.
Of the 988 submissions received, 80.8 per cent objected to the rezoning, but in a report to the council it was noted most of these were signed form letters and nearly half were from people who lived outside the shire.
But, of 201 individually written submissions received, 81.6 per cent supported the rezoning.
In comments made through a representative yesterday, Ms Condon said she was 'really encouraged' by the number of submissions.
"(It) shows a really active Lennox Head community that are interested in the issues that affect them and their families, with 798 people motivated to object to the rezoning," she said."
"That shows strong support for the proposed seniors living community."
Ms Condon said if the rezoning was approved she would look at exploring other options for her land.
Mr Smith said he believed the council had an obligation to approve the rezoning because the Lennox Head community expressed its wishes to preserve the hill as part of the Lennox Head Structure Plan that was adopted by council in 2004.
The report to the council also recommended the council refuse a request from Ms Condon for a public hearing on the rezoning.
Meanwhile, Ms Condon has filed an appeal with the NSW Land and Environment Court, alleging the council did not evaluate her proposal fast enough.
Because no decision was made within 60 days, the proposal was 'deemed refusal'. Ms Condon is appealing that refusal.
If the rezoning proceeds, the court case will be halted because development in the new zoning would be prohibited.