Stewart Farm plan rejected

PLANS to rezone and subdivide land near Sharpes Beach at Skennars Head have been knocked back by Ballina Shire Council.

An application to facilitate urban development on the land, known as the Stewart Farm, was submitted to the council five years ago.

It would require an amendment to the Local Environmental Plan.

The land includes the Sharpes Beach car park, which is also owned by the Stewarts.

However the council has negotiated a 99-year lease for the car park and adjoining land to facilitate the controversial shared coastal pathway.

At this week's council meeting, a report from strategic services staff recommended the LEP amendment for the Stewart Farm be put on public exhibition following the completion of an environmental study.

But councillor Ben Smith put forward a motion to stop any further processing of the amendment.

"I am not satisfied with it," he said.

"There are uncertainties with respect to the land dedication."

Cr Smith also had concerns with it being a scenic zone and the council's potential liability for infrastructure.

Outstanding fees were also a prob- lem, according to some councillors, and Cr David Wright said he did not believe the community wanted houses built on that land.

"I believe this piece of land is iconic," he said. "What is the point of deferring a decision on this (the LEP amendment)? Let's knock it on the head now. I don't think (the proponents) will ever be able to meet the community's expectations."

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