OPPOSITION to a planned Woolworths supermarket and new shopping complex at Kingscliff is growing, with the local ratepayers' group claiming the site is environmentally sensitive and should be left alone.
President of the Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association Peter Gladwin said yesterday Tweed Shire Council had failed to heed calls from the group 12 years ago to protect the site adjacent to the current Kingscliff Village shopping centre and Action supermarket.
The group's objections come on top of opposition from the Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce which says a new shopping centre would hurt existing traders in the town who are already battling.
But director of Gales Holdings Dr Stephen Segal has said retail studies by nationally recognised experts in urban planning, retail design and retail analysis have concluded the supermarket is needed for local convenience shopping.
He has promised the development will incorporate habitat restoration on nearby land to protect the endangered Mitchells rainforest snail, will feature rooftop panels for solar hot water and solar electricity and will use recycled water on landscaping.
Mr Gladwin, however, said his group believes the development would be in the wrong place.
"The siting of it there is manifestly inappropriate," he said. "People have never seen that area dry and the Council has told us it will need three metres of fill.
"It is like a giant soak for all the water off Kingscliff Hill. We have a
lady who remembers it used to be a lake used by black swans."
Tweed mayor Warren Polglase said he was expecting a number of strong objections from Kingscliff business people who had also objected to previous plans by Gales Holdings to build the shopping complex slightly further west off Elrond Avenue.
He said some shops in the adjacent Kingscliff Village Shopping Centre were still vacant and other traders had told him they were "hanging in by their teeth".