Razorback duplex approved despite ?precedent? fears

A PART-three-story duplex proposed to be built in a two-storey zoning at Razorback Hill, Tweed Heads, was narrowly approved by Tweed Shire Council this week despite concerns that it would set a precedent and create traffic problems in the area.

Mayor Warren Polglase used his casting vote to approve the $450,000 building on a steep site at No. 40 Charles Street after the vote was tied 5-5 (crs Max Boyd, Barbara Carroll, Dot Holdom, Steve Dale and Henry James against - Cr Beck was absent).

Cr Boyd had earlier moved that it be refused because it did not comply with planning provisions, would set a precedent and increase traffic problems, but that was rejected by Cr Polglase using his casting vote after a tied vote.

Cr James said the mostly threestorey building was far too non-compliant and if Council approved it, planning standards would be "absolutely wrecked".

A staff report concluded that approving the three-storey height variation would be perceived as a precedence that will make way for further departures to the two-storey limitation. In his report, chief planner Noel Hodges suggested that if approved "it may be prudent for Council to initiate a review of the two-storey height limitation within this catchment".

Mr Hodges told councillors that the original development application for the duplex would have been recommended for refusal but "this one is OK, it has merit".

Cr James said it showed that if someone wanted to depart so far from the rules, the way to do it was "to change the rules".