Councillor Rodney Degens.
Councillor Rodney Degens. Bruce Thomas

Housing developments get political

THE controversy surrounding proposed housing developments north of Coffs Harbour continues to build.

While the Greens’ candidate for the March State election Rodney Degens says it’s “raining Part 3A special projects across the Northern Beaches”, some developers and real estate agents think differently and accuse the Greens of running scare campaigns on local environmental issues with the election looming.

The contentious development applications include land at Hearnes Lake, Emerald Beach and South Moonee Forest

One developer contacted The Advocate to say the Reids Block at Emerald Beach was “zoned 2A Residential Low Density and has been for many years. A development application for this purpose is legally acceptable” and that the council’s local environment plan maps clearly show this.

A real estate agent said environmental impact studies have been done on the Emerald Beach site and that just 20 per cent of the area of the land is to be developed as home sites.

In a statement, Cr Degens said many of the proposals are “social, economic and environmental disasters waiting to happen. All are development proposals where the proponents, not satisfied with the position that Coffs Harbour City Council has taken, have gone to the State Government to ask for more.”

“There are three large Part 3A major projects currently threatening the Northern Beaches of Coffs Harbour – Hearnes Lake, South Moonee Forest and the Emerald Beach application of which we have just become aware,” he said.

Cr Degens said the Greens acknowledge statements made by the Liberal Party Leader in NSW, Barry O’Farrell, in respect to repealing Part 3A but “a number of concerns remain unanswered”.

“The Greens are calling on the Coalition to commit to a complete moratorium on coastal development and to revoke the approvals that have recently been made by the Planning Minister, Tony Kelly. Rumours are running rife in the community that Andrew Fraser actively lobbied on behalf of the applicant for the Hearnes Lake development proposal,” Cr Degens was quoted as saying in a Greens’ media release.

“There is a political party that will take positive action to address these fundamental community concerns, that party is The Greens. We will protect the natural environment of the Northern Beaches, we will not allow houses to be built in floodprone locations and we will protect the quality of life for residents of the Northern Beaches and the numerous tourists who flock to our majestic Northern Beaches.”

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