About 200 people attend the information meeting about the proposed rezoning of land at Cumbalum.
About 200 people attend the information meeting about the proposed rezoning of land at Cumbalum. Jem Wilson

Cumbalum plan scrutiny

APPROXIMATELY 200 people packed a public information session in Lennox Head on Saturday to hear about the controversial plans to rezone land at Cumbalum.

The rezoning could potentially house 9000 people by creating two parcels of land known as Precinct A and B.

Town-planner Paul Snellgrove of Ardill Payne & Partners spoke in favour of Precinct A, which would create 850 new dwellings for 2300 people.

He said the population would be linked to Ballina Heights and Ballina; not Lennox Head.

"The land owners see Cumbalum as a satellite village of Ballina," Mr Snellgrove said.

But Lennox Head resident Victoria O'Conner was applauded when questioning Mr Snellgrove.

"Are you genuinely suggesting they (the residents) aren't going to want to go to the beach in Lennox Head? Where are they going to park?" Ms O'Connor asked.

Lennox Head resident Louise Owen also questioned what impact Precinct B would have on Ross Lane.

"If you think for one minute the people in precinct B are going to drive via Precinct A to get to work or get to the beach that's laughable," Ms Owen said.

"Of course they will come down Ross Lane and it will have a huge impact on Lennox Head."

But developer Richard Walsh said the two proposals must be viewed separately.

"Precinct B is independent of precinct A. It won't have an impact on Lennox Head because the land is five kilometres out," Mr Walsh said.

Council's strategic services group manager Steve Barnier told the crowd the council would follow "stock-standard" planning procedures in assessing the proposed changes.

But Mr Barnier said Cumbalum has been seen as "part of the big picture for urban land release in the Ballina Shire" since the 1980s.

"The department of planning has foreshadowed that by around 2030 or 2031 Ballina Shire needs to provide for an additional 8500 dwellings," Mr Barnier said.

"The Cumbalum area has been identified as potentially accommodating a significant proportion of that growth, but at the end of the day it remains to be seen whether the council will support the rezoning."

The planning proposals are currently on exhibition for public comment.



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