CONTROVERSY continues over the development application for a wakeboarding coaching clinic between Fingal and Chinderah along the Tweed River, with Tweed Shire councillors agreeing 4-3 to approve the project in principal under conditions.
A development assessment report submitted at Tuesday's general meeting recommended refusal of the application on environmental grounds due to its ability to "impact negatively upon adjacent land."
The report pointed out possible impact on the habitat of estuarine fauna, in particular migratory shorebirds.
This means the project does not satisfy criteria set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
Tweed mayor Barry Longland said a study recently conducted on wake erosion would be brought back to the July council meeting when councillors would look at measures to alleviate the effects of wakeboarding.
"The principal issues in relation to this application are erosion, Aboriginal cultural and heritage aspects and the impact of the activity on bird colonies inhabiting the area," he said.
"Recreational boating is not affected in the same way, with the Roads and Maritime Authority (RMS) being responsible for those activities on the river.
"The difference with this proposal is that it is a business seeking to make money from the activity.
"That involves fundamental planning issues that are the concern of the council."
Cr Joan van Lieshout said the applicant had expressed a desire to comply with any conditions imposed by the council.
Cr Kevin Skinner said he supported the application 100%.
"It may not be the most suitable place, but it's a starting point and an opportunity for a small business to establish a place for kids to learn," he said.
At the general meeting Cr Dot Holdom pointed out that the applicant could not afford to pay for studies that "should have been done in the first place."
She suggested the applicant should "go away and start over."
"Given the significance of the area it would be the decent thing to do," she said.