Pines Estate residents face forced relocation

SOME residents at the Pines Estate could be on the move after it was revealed their houses never had planning approval.

Four residences at the Hearnes Lake facility have been given a deadline of October for relocation as they are currently standing in a 7A habitat zone. Some of the residences have been standing for almost a decade.

Faye Urquhart, the Coffs Coast Parks Residents representative for the Affiliated Residential Park Residents Association addressed the city council last month on behalf of the residents.

"Residents have only been made aware of this late last year," Ms Urquhart said.

"Basically they've been told they have to be moved and at this point their houses, some valued at $150,000, are virtually worth nothing.

"Because they're not the land owners, the Council doesn't talk to them and then the park owners don't talk to them so all this goes straight above their heads."

She submitted a request to the council to have the 7A zoning adjusted to fall behind where the houses currently stand.

She also sent copies of the submission to Minister for Local Government Don Page and Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser.

A spokesman for The Pines Estate said they shared the concerns of residents.

"The owners of the homes are aware the problem existed prior to the current owners involvement at The Pines," the spokesman said.

"We have been actively working with council and advocating on behalf of residents, including making representations to council and the local member of parliament Andrew Fraser MP, to request that the residents are allowed to continue to occupy their homes.

"A decision to force residents to relocate from the homes that they have occupied for many years would have little positive environmental impact but would have a significant negative impact on the lives of the senior residents ofthe homes in question."

"We will continue to work with all parties concerned and to advocate on behalf of our residents."

A council spokeswoman for Coffs Harbour City Council said the council have been in discussions with the park landowner since 2006 about the relocation of the houses, which never had planning approval.

"The landowner agrees that the sites need to be relocated. The deadline for their relocation has been extended a number of times by Council and is currently October 2013.

"There is opportunity for the landowner to relocate these residents within the park following a recent approval by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to expand the caravan park by about 50 additional sites."

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