Council pushes change

By PETER CATON

TWEED Shire Council's administrators yesterday bulldozed through controversial rules aimed at stopping housing developers from flattening hillsides.

The three administrators pushed through the ban in four minutes without debate, despite earlier warnings from developers that it would lead to unemployment in the Tweed building industry. But their decision also upset conservationists, who complained the rules had been watered down.

Shortly after their decision the administrators issued a a press statement in which planning committee chairperson Lucy Turnbull said excessive cutting and filling on new subdivisions would have a long-term "negative cumulative impact".

"There is a need to strike a balance to ensure that the detrimental impacts of subdivision and development do not destroy what makes the Tweed so special," she said.

On Monday about 50 developers, builders and industry consultants met with Ms Turnbull and fellow administrator Max Boyd in a failed lastditch effort to stop the new rules.

Ms Turnbull said matters raised during extensive public consultation had been taken into account and some amendments made.

But co-ordinator of the Caldera Environment Centre Paul Hopkins told the administrators his group was disappointed.

He said recommendations for a stronger ban drawn up by the NSW government architect "has been watered down as a result of lobbying by the development industry".

The council's acting engineering chief, Patrick Knight, said it had "not been possible to reconcile" many of the opposing points of view.



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