Snail could slow development
A PLAN to raise the level of flood-prone land near Kingscliff for a local supermarket and a housing estate could threaten one of the two last remaining habitats of a rare rainforest snail, it was claimed yesterday.
Developer Gales Holdings has lodged an application with Tweed Shire Council to fill land on both sides of Turnock Street to a height of up to three metres.
Kingscliff Residents Association president Peter Gladwin said filling the vast area would destroy wetlands and endanger the habitat of the Mitchell's Rainforest Snail.
Mr Gladwin said the area south of Turnock Street acted as a giant sponge for the whole of the Kingscliff area and should not be filled in.
The residents association, he said, decided at its meeting this week to hold a forum on the plan later this month involving all stakeholders and would also ask council to extend the public exhibition period until the end of the month, rather than until February 16.
Gales Holdings director Stephen Segal said he was aware of the existence of the endangered snail, but his proposal included plans to triple its habitat area.
Dr Segal said the land needed to be filled because council allowed developers to remove a major drainage channel many years ago.
He said he could not understand the association's objections because it had earlier supported a council plan to build a transport interchange on the same site.
But Mr Gladwin said his association was not against development of the whole area and had accepted the northern part would be developed in the future, but the portion to the south of Turnock Street should be preserved.
The Department of Environment and Conservation, according to a spokesman, has advised council on the value of the West Kingscliff land as threatened-species habitat for the endangered snail.
Council, the spokesman said, was required to consider the impact of the proposal on the environment, including threatened species.