West Ballina resident Francis Bienke opposes a 300-strong development application that would surround the back of his property.
West Ballina resident Francis Bienke opposes a 300-strong development application that would surround the back of his property.

Fears that $48M development will 'annihilate' West Ballina

AFTER 20 years living in West Ballina, resident Francis Bienke, 76, faces being surrounded by a proposed new development.

Mr Bienke grew up and lived in Byron Bay for 57 years, and moved to Ballina in late 1997.

He said the development would drastically affect his life.

"I believe the effect this development will have on me and my adjoining neighbour is going to be very substantial," he said.

"We bought this place because it's so peaceful and quiet.

"This development is going to create a tremendous amount of noise, vibration, excessive traffic, and there will be no peace and quiet whatsoever.

"The amenity of the area will be annihilated, and my privacy will be gone."

Mr Bienke said he feared heavy rain would mean flooding to his property as a consequence of the development.

"I think my property and my neighbour's will be inundated with flood waters, because of the huge volume of water that will come from roofs and hard surfaces from that development if it's completed," he said.

 

West Ballina resident Francis Bienke opposes a 300-strong development application that would surround the back of his property.
West Ballina resident Francis Bienke opposes a 300-strong development application that would surround the back of his property.

 

"The open drains proposed, the way I see it, will end up flooding our properties," he said.

"They are going to have retainer walls to hold the fill on the development site around three fronts of my property, and those walls will end up locking my property and my neighbour's in.

"(The properties) will become flood-bound and there has been no consultation from the developers to my neighbour or myself."

The proposed development aims to build a 300-site manufactured home estate with associated manager's residence, club house, recreation facilities, roads, utility services, earthworks and other associated works.

 

The master plan for the new GemLife home estate development project in West Ballina shows Mr Bienke’s property surrounded by the development on the left of the image.
The master plan for the new GemLife home estate development project in West Ballina shows Mr Bienke’s property surrounded by the development on the left of the image.

 

Ballina Shire Council referred the project to the Northern Regional Planning Panel in July, after the proponent updated its estimation of the project's final cost.

Other residents of the area have also manifested their opposition to the project.

The proponent, GemLife, raised the cost of the project from just under $30 million to $48.7 million after the first public exhibition.

The project is again on public exhibition in Ballina Shire Council's website until August 21.

Although the council remains the consent authority and will be responsible to carry out the technical assessment of the application, that assessment will be reported to the panel for determination.

Proponent GemLife declined to comment on the project or Mr Bienke's objections.



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