Casuarina residents lose battle to prevent resort

CASUARINA residents late yesterday lost a battle against a 92-unit resort being built near upmarket homes in their beachside township.

Residents had objected to the density of the development, potential construction and tourist traffic, possible dangers to pedestrians and children riding bikes and the prospect that one-bedroom resort apartments would be illegally rented to permanent residents.

They had also fought against earlier plans for access to the resort to be along a narrow residential street, Collins Lane.

But after Quantum Developments amended plans for the $17.1 million project to be%accessed from an extension of the beachfront Casuarina Way, Tweed Shire Council administrators Garry Payne and Max Boyd yesterday gave it the green light.

"I share the concerns about density and construction issues, but council really has no legal basis to oppose it," Mr Payne told a packed public gallery.

The council had initially received 93 objections when the plans proposed access along Collins Lane, but Quantum has since held talks with Multiplex Developments which is building the adjacent Cotton Beach Resort to use an extended Casuarina Way.

Mr Boyd said the developers still had a legal right of access to Collins Lane, but the council was insisting on conditions to restrict traffic to all but a few vehicles.

One resident Shirley Vallender appealed to the administrators to reject the resort which she argued replaced original plans for 14 luxury townhouses that would have provided a buffer between private homes and the Cotton Beach resort.

"We, as all our neighbours, have expended well into the millions of dollars to establish ourselves in this area," Mrs Vallender said.

She claimed the issue of access from Collins Lane had become a decoy to take eyes off the real issue the unwanted 92-apartment block.

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