Mayor fumes over Hearnes Lake claim

COFFS HARBOUR mayor Keith Rhoades says he’s setting the record straight on ‘misinformation’ surrounding the Hearnes Lake development.

Cr Rhoades said he had been told people claiming to be representatives of the Sandy Shores residential project were phoning local residents, telling them company directors had met Cr Rhoades and he was happy with the outcome of those meetings.

In December, Planning Minister Tony Kelly approved the 200-lot subdivision on a low-lying coastal site against the wishes of the council, which had argued for the controversial project to be limited to only 35 lots. The council is now considering taking on the State Government in the Land and Environment Court.

“I have had no meetings with directors of the company involved in the Hearnes Lake development since the Minister’s decision on December 20, 2010, nor have I discussed with them any proposed litigation in relation to this matter,” Cr Rhoades said.

“If anyone has any concerns they should ring me at my office at the Coffs Harbour City Council.”

Meanwhile Coffs Harbour City councillor Mark Graham has flagged his concerns about a proposal for the council to endorse concept plans for up to $14 million worth of upgrades to the BCU International Stadium and Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park on Hogbin Drive at its meeting tonight.

“Serious questions must be asked about the priorities of the council and who is developing them,” said the Greens councillor.

“From a review of the material presented to the council on the proposal it is apparent that this is not a financially sound investment and does not deliver benefits to major sectors of our community.

“Another concern is that the site is highly vulnerable to rising sea levels and is highly flood prone as identified in a report presented to the council in September 2010 prepared by consultants BMTWBM.”

Another long-running local saga will get another run around the council track tonight when Coramba resident Graeme Felton makes his sixth attempt to force the council to remove encroachments on a laneway which ends near the back of his Gale Street property, which has dual access to both the street and lane.

The encroachments are gardens, trees and fences established on land they believed to be part of their backyards by the residents of Nos 16 and 18 Thrower Avenue many years ago.

The land only became a council laneway in November 2005.

It was formerly private land.

The matter was last raised in 2008.

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