Can Sartor snap Gales deadlock?

THE NSW government has stepped in to break a bitter deadlock between developer Gales Holdings and Tweed Shire Council over a planned new regional retail centre and sports grounds at Kingscliff. Planning Minister Frank Sartor yesterday told the Tweed Daily News he had begun the process of listing Gales' West Kingscliff site as "state significant" after long-running, costly litigation. This will result in the state government taking direct control of approvals for the 220-hectare site where Gales wants to build supermarkets, department stores, cinemas, offices and a library. Gales chief Stephen Segal said he was very pleased with the minister's announcement, provided the government intervention would "take into account that council has been putting out a lot of misinformation for years about our project" Tweed Shire planning director Noel Hodges said council also was pleased with the minister's decision. "Council believes this will ensure an holistic approach to the site that is consistent with the Far North Coast Strategy achieving a better outcome for the Tweed community," Mr Hodges said. The development site is near the new BP super service station at Chinderah and extends towards Kingscliff. Dr Segal and Tweed Shire Council have been involved in legal disputes costing millions of dollars since 1999 over complex development issues, including environ-%mental concerns. Mr Sartor said council had written to him in June, requesting his intervention to help secure a proper, strategic approach for the area. He noted that Tweed MP Geoff Provest%also had called for state intervention. "This is a complex site that has been the subject of protracted disputes," Mr Sartor said. "This land could help provide new jobs, and it is in a sensitive coastal environment. "It has the potential to generate significant social, economic and environmental%benefits for NSW. "For these reasons, it is appropriate we take steps to subject any future proposals%to rigorous assessment and public consultation."

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