4500 homes approved
THOUSANDS of people are set to call Kings Forest home after concept plan approval was granted for the massive 856-hectare development yesterday.
State Planning Minister Tony Kelly, flanked by Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase and Tweed Legislative Council member Amanda Fazio, made the announcement on the future township’s doorsteps.
The $423 million project, west of Casuarina, is expected to generate more than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next 20 years.
The concept plan approval includes 23 residential precincts with a capacity for 4500 dwellings, a new town centre and neighbourhood centre, a 57– hectare golf course, two public schools, public transport routes and 17 hectares of open public space.
Environmental protection areas covering 336 hectares has also been assured to protect koala habitats on the site.
Mr Kelly said it was an important move in ensuring the Tweed becomes home to thousands of new residents over the next two decades.
“Kings Forest is one of the biggest housing projects in the state at the moment,” he said.
“This has been a long process and it’s good to see it’s finally coming to fruition.
“The process now is for the developers Leda to put in a specific project application through our department.”
Ms Fazio said the project will go a long way towards delivering the 19,100 new dwellings needed in the region by 2031.
“The site is consistent with the State Government’s Far North Coast Regional Strategy, which identifies the site as having an important role in meeting the region’s future housing needs,” she said.
Mr Kelly said issues surrounding the koala habitat, which was a key community concern of the development, had been well investigated.
“Through a number of associated rezonings which are being enacted, the site will actually see a further increase in environment protection land of more than 13 hectares, on top of what was achieved previously,” he said.
A koala management plan has also been prepared by koala expert Dr Frank Carrick.
Regular reviews and updates of the site’s koala management plan will also be undertaken.
Prior to the announcement, Mr Kelly and Cr Polglase turned the sod for the upgrade of the Banora Point Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The upgrade will cater for population increases.
Mr Kelly also took time out to inspect erosion–riddled Kingscliff Beach.
It followed an application from the council to the State Government for disaster funds of up to $10 million worth of work to halt erosion on the beach.