Apartment driveway protested
TWEED Shire Council has been called on to strictly monitor building consents given to controversial developments after claims that the developer of a Kingscliff apartment block had started to build a driveway contrary to the original approval.
The rear entrance to the Nor Nor East luxury apartments in Hungerford Lane, according to a community watchdog group and local ratepayers association, was last week poured at a width of four metres, despite a width of six metres specified in the development approval.
Kingscliff Residents and Ratepayers Association president Peter Gladwin said developer Resort Corp had asked for retrospective approvals for the narrower driveway.
Mr Gladwin said the issue highlighted the way some developers operated using a number of "serial amendments" to development applications to get what they wanted.
"We would like to see the Australian standard of six metres be applied," he said.
Community group Tweed Monitor said residents in Hungerford Lane were now concerned at the congestion in their already narrow street, which would be intensified by a single carriageway entrance.
Monitor spokesman Jerry Cornford said the developers had letterboxed residents of their intention to apply to council for a reduction in the carriageway width, but the variation had not yet been approved.
"Council must take strong remedial action against all developers who flout consent conditions, gambling that no action will be taken once illegal work in set in concrete," Mr Cornford said.
Resort Corp director Paul Brinsmead said the design for the driveway had been modified by reducing its width from a consistent six metres to 3.5 metres at its narrowest, 4.5 metres at the boundary and 6.5 metres at the kerb.
The modification, Mr Brinsmead said, had been made because a driveway of six metres in width required a steeper gradient on one side which would make it difficult for a car exiting the property to view pedestrians or traffic on Hungerford Lane.
Work had started on the driveway, he said, but the builders realised that if it was to be the originallyapproved width it would be too steep and unsafe.
No approvals, Mr Brinsmead said, had yet been given for the newer narrower driveway.
"It is very normal in any development project, that as a development proceeds, some variations are sought which actually improve the design and the outcome.
"It is normal that applications of this kind are not advertised, but council decided because of the controversy associated with the project, to advertise this in any case," he said.
The modification, Mr Brinsmead said, complied in every respect with Tweed Shire Council driveway access policies as well as the Australian Standard for offstreet car parking.
The reduction in the width of the driveway, he said, would also allow for in- creased landscaping.