Leda slams the council for putting brakes on development

Richard Duce at Salt. Photo: Blainey Woodham / Daily News
Richard Duce at Salt. Photo: Blainey Woodham / Daily News Blainey Woodham

TWEED Shire Council has been told by Kings Forest developers that change needs to be driven from the top for developments to continue in the area.

On Wednesday Leda Developments' acquisition and project manager Richard Duce told a crowd of more than 80 at the Urban Development Institute of Australia breakfast that the council was responsible for slowing development in the area down.

"Our chairman has stopped the trucks," he said.

"It's hard to get approved in these times."

Mr Duce said there were many constraints in developing the Tweed which included retirees and an underprivileged population.

"There's a small percent of the population that is very vocal on anti-development," he said.

"The demographics are also another constraint.

"It's mostly made up of retirees and a lot of people on welfare.

"These people don't generate employment.

"They're normally the people against development."

Leda also has an application in council to develop Cobaki in Tweed heads.

Mr Duce said it was primarily being marketed to the Chinese and would hold a population of 12,000 people.

Employment was another constraint Mr Duce said his company faced.

"The Tweed really lacks a lot of job opportunities," he said.

"It lacks growth, heavy manufacturing and it doesn't really have many industries.

"I think we need to change that."

Tweed Shire Council's director of planning and regulation Vince Connell said the council was working on new ways to make the application process easier.

He said an external body to deal with applications was being considered.

The breakfast audience heard from four other key stakeholders in the Tweed's development.

Oliver Hume's joint managing director Marcus Buskey, Ray Group director Tom Ray and Consolidated Properties managing director Don O'Rorke all spoke about the positives and constraints with developing the Tweed.

My Daily News contacted the council and is awaiting further comment.

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