Leda to council: Ban dogs and Kings Forest is off

Leda spokesman Reg Van Rij says a dog ban could put Kings Forest development at risk.
Leda spokesman Reg Van Rij says a dog ban could put Kings Forest development at risk. Mairi Manley

A DECISION to ban dogs from the Kings Forest development would be the death of the $2.5billion project, its developer says.

Leda Developments spokesman Reg van Rij said the financial viability of the entire development would be irretrievably damaged if the blocks of land could not be sold to dog owners.

"It is certainly out of the question in a project the size of Kings Forest, which will eventually be a town about the size of Murwillum- bah," Mr van Rij said.

"The sales rate that is absolutely essential to make a project of this type viable cannot absorb the shutting out, as potential customers, of those families who own or might consider owning a dog - about one in three households we understand."

Mr van Rij said even buyers without dogs might be deterred as they would be concerned about the impact of a dog restriction on the resale value of their properties.

The overall result would be that the project, to include 400 lots and become home to more than 8000 people, would be scrapped, he said.

"A vote for no dogs at Kings Forest is a vote for no Kings Forest," Mr van Rij said. It would, therefore, be a vote for no $2.5billion in economic output and no 15,000 full- time equivalent employment positions."

Mr van Rij said the debate over the project's potential impact on koalas was skewed.

He said a total of 18 "koala food trees" would be affected by the development, compared with 20,000 to be planted over the life of the project.

Despite copping severe criticism from campaigners against the development, Mayor Barry Longland said he did not believe a total dog ban at King's Forest was "either practical or enforceable".

"Three ecologists have studied the site. None recommended a dog ban. But there are design measures to separate koalas from urban development."

Greens Councillor Katie Milne has strongly advo- cated a ban on dogs at Kings Forest. The Daily News was unable to contact Cr Milne yesterday.

Leda Developments hopes to have blocks of land on the market at Kings Forest in the second half of 2013.

Topics:  dog ban kings forest leda tweed shire council

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