Letter to the Editor- Saturday, July 19: No sympathy
NORMALLY I would be sorry to hear of the financial difficulties of a local company but I am unable to extend my sympathy to Sandy Shores because, if it wasn't for greed, they would have already developed their land bordering Hearnes Lake and would be sitting pretty on their profits.
In 2004 they didn't accept CHCC's approval of 35 houses on the only section of the land not requiring 3.5 metres of fill to lift the homes above flood level.
As they obtained the land very cheaply (due to its flood-prone nature and difficulty of development), they would have made a more than adequate profit on their investment, which they could have re-invested in a more sustainable development elsewhere.
In 2010 the Department of Planning increased the number of lots to 200.
Surely this was enough to make a very handsome profit.
Even Tony Kelly, Minister for Lands at that time, would not approve the development of the absolute oceanfront land between the lake and the beach and gave it nature reserve status.
In 2013, Sandy Shores applied to state planning for modification of the original concept approval to reinstate the areas (specifically the "beach precinct") denied in 2010 and to overturn restrictions placed on the development. This application required many more dollars being spent on lawyers.
The best outcome now for this land and the continuing existence of the southern end of Hearnes Lake is to have it added to the already acquired Emerald Forest (a mere 100 hectares), as offset for the destruction of natural habitat caused by the upgrade of the highway, especially in the Woolgoolga by-pass region.