Ballina stripped of planning power
THE NSW Planning Minister has stripped Ballina Shire Council of its authority to determine a rezoning application for prime coastal land at Skennars Head owned by the Stewart family.
The Stewarts own land on both sides of The Coast Road.
On the western side there have been tentative plans since 2005 for a residential development, but the land first needs to be rezoned.
The rezoning of the land has not occurred because councillors want the Stewarts to dedicate land on the eastern side of the road to the council.
This request has been rejected on numerous occasions.
But now the State Government has stripped Ballina council of its ability to make a determination on the rezoning of the western land.
Instead the Joint Regional Planning Panel will make the decision.
The council's strategic services group manager, Steve Barnier, said the Minister advised the council of his decision earlier this month.
"It was the Minister's view that the council was being unreasonable in requesting Dr and Mrs Stewart to dedicate the eastern land to the council," he said.
"The Minister has now appointed the JRPP to determine the rezoning."
Mr Barnier stressed that there was currently no application for any residential development on the land.