Battle of Hastings takes an ugly turn

By KATE McINTOSH

HASTINGS Point developers have pointed the finger at local protesters following a second vandalism attack on their property.

PDK director Danny Gillies said the marine education centre and sales office, both located onsite the Hastings Point Holiday Caravan Park, had been defaced by vandals early Sunday morning.

The graffiti, which reads "2 storey", in large green lettering was still visible when the Daily News visited yesterday.

The Hastings Point Progress Association recently mounted a legal challenge against plans to re-develop the Coast Road park into an upmarket resort and aged care facility over concerns its three-storey height limit compromises the coastal amenity of the seaside village.

Mr Gillies claimed yesterday PDK were victims of an orchestrated "scare campaign".

He said this latest incident follows a similar act of vandalism on PDK signage at Young Street and several incidences of trespass at the caravan park in recent months.

"On one hand they (the local resident's group) say they're going to follow everything by the law. But this is a criminal offence; it's destruction of public property," he said.

Mr Gillies said the incident had now jeopardised plans to relocate the marine centre, which had been donated to Tweed Council, for community use.

Caravan park resident Judy Tucker alleged members of the resident's association were using elderly park residents as pawns in their campaign against developers.

"People are too frightened to speak out. They think it will be their property defaced next," she said.

"I think I speak for the majority of residents here when I say we feel we have been treated fairly by PDK. What we really need is to be left to live here peacefully without getting dragged into all this."

Hastings Point Progress Association spokesperson Julie Boyd yesterday "categorically denied" allegations of criminal activity and bullying.

"We're maintaining our credibility and a professional attitude," she said.

"We have absolutely no intention of involving ourselves in anything that's immoral or unethical."

Ms Boyd said claims of impropriety levelled at the group were an attempt to discredit resident's efforts against over development in the village.



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