Public meeting over 500-lot Skennars Head development

A PUBLIC meeting about a controversial planning proposal for the Stewart farm at Skennars Head will be held in Ballina this week.

If approved, the rezoning of the land would facilitate a 500-lot residential development west of The Coast Rd, along with a neighbourhood shopping centre.

The proposal has been rejected by the council on numerous occasions.

The Joint Regional Planning Panel has since been appointed to determine the application.

In an effort to hear the community's views on the project, the JRPP is hosting a public meeting on Thursday from 1pm.

It will be held at the Ballina Shire Council chambers on the corner of Cherry and Tamar Sts.

Already there have been 41 submissions made to the JRPP - 17 of these were in favour of the proposal and 20 submissions were opposed to it, or raised concerns about certain aspects.

Supporters of the proposal have written that it is "sensitively planned and well-considered" and that it will bring employment and economic growth to the area.

A rezoning could also lead to the availability of more affordable land.

Roads and Maritime Services, in its submission, states that the development of the Skennars Head coastal village could increase traffic accessing The Coast Road from Headlands Drive from 3000 vehicle movements a day to 7000 vehicle movements a day.

Access options and alternative routes should be fully analysed, the RMS stated.

Other issues raised in submissions include concerns about the future of the land to the east of The Coast Road.

This land is also owned by the Stewarts, but it is not part of this planning proposal.

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