McLeans Ridge project halted
THE controversial residential development at Roseview Road at McLeans Ridges will not go ahead after Lismore City Council decided on Tuesday night the cost to ratepayers was too high.
In a seven to four vote, councillors decided not to amend the LEP to allow the project after it was revealed it would cost ratepayers more than $500,000 in infrastructure costs to proceed with the proposal.
“That's equivalent to a 3 per cent rate rise,” Cr David Yarnall said. “That's neither fair nor reasonable for ratepayers.”
McLeans Community Group member Noel Parker, who spoke at the meeting, welcomed the council decision.
“We are very glad,” he said. “I was a bit surprised some councillors hung onto the notion of developer welfare and developers not having to pay costs of connecting to infrastructure.”
In May, council asked the developer, PacLib Group, to sign a draft planning agreement to develop 25 rural residential lots.
However, PacLib declined, arguing that the $47,000 contribution per block sought by council to provide infrastructure would make the proposal 'unviable'.
PacLib asked for a reduction to $26,700. According to a council report, this would leave a $560,000 shortfall.
“If funding is not forthcoming from the developer, it would be required to come from other funding sources,” the report said. “As other funding sources are not readily available, council would have to reduce recurrent works and services funding to meet this commitment.”
Cr Peter Graham, who earlier proposed continuing negotiations with PacLib, said halting the development would send the wrong message about Lismore.
“This council is pushing away developers ... it has been pushing them away to Ballina, Casino and Kyogle,” he said.
Crs Yarnall and Isaac Smith said there was plenty of land in Lismore ready for development once the sewerage issue was resolved.
PacLib did not return calls yesterday seeking comment.