Kielvale residents object to changes

PLANS to more than double the size of the small settlement of Kielvale north-east of Murwillumbah have shocked the local residents, who say they moved to the area for its quiet, rural atmosphere.

Spokesperson Philip O'Neill told Tweed Shire councillors this week Kielvale had developed slowly over many years, with houses set on reasonable size blocks of land with wellcared-for gardens.

But 72 new blocks proposed as part of a master plan drawn up by developers Aquarius Pty Ltd, he said, could change Kielvale forever from a village to a high-density suburb.

He said residents were alarmed 13 of the proposed blocks were for duplex housing and a further seven would have axe-handle-shaped driveways squeezed between other blocks.

As well, residents were fearful that as "no information exists as to who will pay for the sewerage" in an area which currently has no sewerage system, existing residents would be hit with a levy to build one.

That, he said, would amount to the proposed development being subsidised by the existing residents.

Extensive earthworks, to lower some of the current rolling hills and fill in low areas, would also "increase the risk of subsidence to some existing landholders, particularly those above the proposed development".

"Completely bulldozing the entire area will have a major impact on habitat of native birds and animals that live in the area," he said.

Mr O'Neill said residents were also concerned at the impact of rainwater runoff from housing on a nearby cane field and the lack of public transport which could leave new residents isolated.

"People living in Kielvale are not anti-development, but feel a new housing development should be in harmony with the existing village," Mr O'Neill said.

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