NSW bypasses council on subdivision

NSW Department of Planning has indicated draft concept approval for a 200-lot subdivision stretching from the Pacific Highway to the beach south of Hearnes Lake and north of Sandy Beach.

The draft concept approval has been given under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, which removes decision making from local councils and gives it to the State Government.

The land is an environmentally-sensitive area where years of studies and assessments had resulted in Coffs Harbour City Council indicating it was unsuitable for more than 35 housing lots, restricted to one part of the site.

Coffs Harbour City Council was given just five days to respond to a request for information from the Department of Planning on the proposal.

The council’s acting director of land use, health and development, Jeff Green, said the council’s position was that the proposal was contrary to the draft development control plan and the draft local environment plan for the area.

He said the projected development would create major traffic and access issues as well as the proposed construction of lots over core habitat of the threatened Wallum froglet and would result in the destruction of an endangered ecological community.

“Council has concerns about asset protection areas; flood levels; environmental buffers and protection of the ICOL (Hearnes Lake is an intermittently closing and opening lake),” Mr Green said.

“Council has transmitted this information to the Department of Planning for their consideration and awaits their advice.”

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