Council asks for explanation on approval

The site: Housing lots are proposed for both sides of Hearnes Lake as well as adjacent to Sandy Beach.
The site: Housing lots are proposed for both sides of Hearnes Lake as well as adjacent to Sandy Beach.

COFFS Harbour City Council has fired off a ‘please explain’ letter to the Minister for Planning Tony Kelly and his department over their draft concept approval for a 200-lot subdivision at Hearnes Lake on November 22.

The council, which has widespread community support for rejecting the subdivision, has apparently been further infuriated by a published letter from a senior DoP executive, Richard Pearson (CCA December 8), which implied some level of council support by saying the department has “worked with council throughout the assessment of this proposal”.

The council says on the contrary, it has consistently opposed the subdivision and provided copious reasons.

“What is also staggering is that this draft approval doesn’t even agree with the department’s own independent consultant’s assessment, which supported the findings of our DCP,” Coffs Harbour Mayor Keith Rhoades said.

The council and residents are united in a chorus of outrage about the proposal, which flies in the face of more than six years of local studies and planning.

Last year council adopted the Hearnes Lake Estuary Management Plan, seeking to further protect the area,

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