Coming to a beach near you

IF Northern Beaches residents want to avoid 'Bankstown on the beach' then they need to involve themselves in the decision-making process.

This is the message from Cr Rod McKelvey, chairman of Coffs Harbour City Council's Planning, Environment and Development committee in light of five preliminary assessment development applications currently being assessed by the NSW Department of Planning.

About 150 Emerald Beach residents gathered last Sunday to discuss a proposed 121-lot residential development that is being examined by the department.

Concerns expressed at the meeting focused on the environmental sensitivity of the land in question (it is zoned 7A Environmental Protection Habitat, 7B Environmental Protection Scenic Buffer and 2A Residential Low Density) and other elements contained in the preliminary assessment.

The document lodged to the Department of Planning makes several mentions of a 'commenced 74-site caravan park development' to the immediate north of the development.

However, no development has commenced, and information obtained by the Coffs Coast Advocate shows that the council deems the 1983 development consent on that land to have lapsed.

"My fear is that the 'local' is being taken out of the decision-making pro-cess for major developments," Cr McKelvey said.

Residents can view the preliminary assessment for the 121-lot Emerald Beach development and the four other Northern Beaches developments at

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