Protest over town's roads 'nightmare'

LENNOX Head residents Marilane De Mello and Mick Denny have written to the NSW State Government in a bid to 'save' their village.

They fear it will be 'a nightmare' if the $60 million Pacific Pines residential and retirement living development is allowed to go ahead before appropriate road infrastructure is put in place.

The pair, along with other residents, say the current road network is not sufficient to handle the extra traffic that will flow from the planned Petrac development, which is expected to bring an extra 1750 residents to the town.

They are also against its inclusion of three-storey houses, which is against Ballina Council's planning controls.

“It really surprises me that there are not more people jumping up and down about this,” Ms De Mello said.

“I can accept progress and development, but it needs to be done right. It's absurd to think the development would be allowed to take place before there is infrastructure to cater for it.”

Fred Goodman, president of the local residents association, said the community particularly wanted Hutley Drive to be extended before construction started on the development.

An application for the project is with the NSW Department of Planning.

The proposal includes a residential subdivision, retirement homes, and a community centre off Montwood Drive at the Pacific Pines estate.

“In regards to allowing three-storey development, especially associated with the retirement village, Petrac has simply stated it is more economical to construct three-storey development over two-storey,” Mr Denny wrote in his letter to the department.

“Private financial gain is not a valid planning argument to ignore local control plans, the voice of the community and our elected members.”

However, the developers previously told The Northern Star the three-storey height limit was justified and would be of great benefit to the community.

“Petrac is currently working with the local council regarding Hutley Drive, and will be delivering a significant portion of the road to the community,” a spokesperson said.

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