Residents fail to halt Lennox Head estate
By Charles Wood
A LENNOX HEAD action group has all but lost a 10-year battle to prevent a residential development in a coastal corridor on the southern outskirts of the town.
The NSW Department of Planning approved Sake Development's Coastal Grove 39-lot residential subdivision at the end of Survey Street on August 2, providing a long list of conditions were met.
Members of the Survey Street Action Group met yesterday to consider their options.
Michelle Chandler told fellow members the subdivision approval 'shows the State Government is not adhering to its own policies on environmental issues'.
The residents' group had fought the development application, mainly on stormwater disposal and environmental grounds.
Another spokesperson, Mandy Andrews, said the group was bitterly disappointed and planned to exhaust any remaining avenues of appeal. She believes stormwater run-off will damage a threatened flora species called Hairy Joint Grass.
"The legislation makes it difficult for residents and the council to successfully oppose the application," she said.
In approving the development, the Department of Planning said it had considered all the issues and recommended a number of conditions to address the issues and impact of the proposal.
However, the action group hasn't given up yet. It wants help from the Environmental Defender's Office in Lismore and an engineer to analyse the Department of Planning's findings.
At yesterday's meeting, Michelle Chandler thanked Ballina Shire Council for its efforts in opposing aspects of the development proposal.
Mayor Phillip Silver said a report on the conditions of approval was being prepared for the next council meeting on September 27.
"It appears council's recommendations have been taken up," he said.
However, he was concerned on-going maintenance of special 'rain garden' stormwater treatment ponds might fall back on the council.
Sarah Kelly, from the Sake Development company in Sydney, said the approval represented a sound balance between environmental issues and the need to provide housing.