"Far from right": Ken Silva on Ballina Shire's plans to redevelop land near his caravan park. Northern Star

Rezoning could ruin unique wetland

KEN SILVA wants the land surrounding his caravan park at Ballina left alone.

Mr Silva and his wife, Heather, own and operate the Sunmaid Village and Caravan Park on the Pacific Highway at West Ballina.

And at Ballina Shire Council's meeting on Thursday councillors supported investigating a way to rezone part of a 56.6ha parcel of land, known as Ballina Waterways, bounded by Burns Point Ferry Road, the Richmond River and the Pacific Highway.

“The land has gone back to its natural vegetation and we can't see why it should be developed at this stage,” Mr Silva said.

“Just because it seemed right to develop the land 20 years ago, in today's environment it is far from right.”

In question is a 4.76 ha strip of land next to the caravan park which includes the Ferry Boat Motel site.

Since the 1960s there have been many attempts to redevelop the land and at the moment the council is investigating if an Enterprise Corridor zoning; allowing bulky goods and industrial retailing, tourist accommodation, aged care and manufactured home estates, would be suitable for the site.

The site is home to vulnerable species - the grass owl and grey-headed flying fox.

In the past the land was farmed for sugar cane and has since returned to its natural state of salt marsh and regenerating forest.



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