Concern about development at prominent coastal site
RESIDENTS have until Friday to have their say on a planning proposal that could drastically alter a Skennars Head development.
The proposed changes relate to a pending development application from Intrapac Property for a 227 residential lot development on The Coast Rd.
Ballina Shire Council strategic planner Simon Scott said the land was zoned for residential development in 2014 by the State Government.
Mr Scott said this included a provision of 870sqm for commercial development.
But the developer hopes to have that increased to 13,200sqm, along with a new medium density zone applied to a combined area of 29,250sqm.
"They're looking at providing some medium density housing in the form of smaller lot development," Mr Scott said.
He said while the developer initially sought to have the building height limit increased from 8.5 to 10m, Mr Scott said this was rejected by the council.
Mr Scott said this meant buildings would be generally limited to two storeys, even under the proposed changes.
He said other controls included in the planning proposal meant the proposed larger commercial area could have a maximum of 5,400m2 of commercial floor space, or up to 40 percent of the commercial site.
Another up to 40% can be taken up by non-commercial floor space, such as shop-top housing, depending on other requirements such as car parking and open space.
Leah Middleton from the Skennars Head Community Action Group said the combination of changes proposed were not in keeping with the character of the community.
"We actually don't oppose development but we like appropriate development," Ms Middleton said.
She said the development was "already quite dense", with 88 per cent of blocks smaller than 600sqm and 45 per cent of blocks less than 475sqm.
"Medium density housing is important to ensure affordable housing and to support a growing community," she said.
"However, it needs to be coupled with green space and community space to ensure the coastal landscape is upheld."
Lennox Head resident Paul Josif was concerned the planning proposal, if passed, would irreparably change the identity of Lennox Head and Skennars Head.
"I accept that it's slated there for development," he said.
"But I think there's a sense that the character of the place is being eroded.
"They haven't considered the impact of all the increased traffic in the area generally.
"There's no comprehensive social impact assessment.
"People love Lennox Head because it looks like it does.
"It's not Noosa, it's not the Gold Coast."
The public can lodge submissions on the planning proposal until this Friday and Mr Scott said they had received "quite a few" in recent days.
"Once we've got the submissions we'll prepare a report for the council," he said.
"A number of options will be presented for the council to decide the way forward."
The proposal can be found on the council's website.