Residents fear slip-up
By ED SOUTHORN
DEVELOPMENT plans for a 50-hectare vacant land site off Fraser Drive are back on the drawing board, after the NSW government previously knocked back huge subdivision plans. The site, bounded by Fraser Drive, Seaview Street, Ocean Avenue and Hillcrest Avenue, is zoned for housing but would need massive cut-and-fill works and extensive retaining walls.
Another major developer, Metricon, abandoned development plans for the difficult hillside site in 2001.
The latest proposal is from the MFS Diversified Group, formerly Villa World, and Greenview Developments Pty Ltd.
Long-time nearby residents fear the first big rain dump on the new subdivision could make them victims of landslides like the recent Falcon Way, in South Tweed, and Currumbin Hill catastrophes.
MFS had a development proposal for the site rejected by NSW Planning in 2004, but has since cleared trees from flat sections of the land and recently reapplied directly to the state government for development approval, with objections closing two weeks ago.
A spokesman for MFS could not be contacted yesterday by the Daily News.
This latest development proposal for the hillside comes after Tweed Shire Council introduced strict new guidelines limiting the extent of cut-and-fill works on new subdivisions.
The MFS application will be considered by NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor as a major coastal proposal, which allows the government to call in large-scale developments for assessment.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said he was concerned this "state significance" legislation also allowed developers to bypass council processing for contentious local projects.
Mr Provest said he did not support the MFS proposal and had %requested a meeting with the company.
Candice Turner, a 26-year-old geology student whose family home is in Ocean Street, has co-ordinated the objections from residents, including that of 84-year-old Ivy Trew, who fears her Hillcrest Ave house will slide away if the hill is disturbed.
Ms Turner has collected more than 60 signatures calling for Mr Sartor to reject the proposal a second time.
"We don't want our houses, our swimming pools, our backyards to slip down the hill when they start pulling out the trees and doing all that cut-and-fill," Ms Turner said.
She said engineering studies for the site clearly showed a definite danger of landslip.
Ms Turner wants an independent geological survey of the land, and if any development ever is allowed a much larger nature reserve than what is currently proposed to be set aside.
Horst Trankle of Ocean Street said the MFS subdivision would see about 900 residents with around 500 cars adding to traffic congestion in South Tweed.