Tweed impresses administrator

TWEED Council's new administrative team visited some of the shire's most contentious development sites during a wide-ranging familiarisation tour yesterday.

They included the longstalled residential development earmarked for large tracts of farmland in Terranora known as Area E, and the site of a proposed satellite city at Kings Forest.

Among those on board was the NSW government architect Chris Johnston, who council chairman Garry Payne said was included to provide an outsider's expert perspective of existing development.

Mr Payne was non-committal about the quality of the new developments but uninhibited in his praise for the shire's natural environment and diversity.

"It's green and lush and a beautiful part of the world - in fact I can't recall anywhere that is comparable," said Mr Payne, a well-travelled head of the local government department.

"The area is unique and every effort should be made to retain its special character by making sure that future development is in harmony with the surrounding environment."

Also on the itinerary were alternative sites earmarked for a shopping centre at Kingscliff, including the disputed site favoured by landowner Stephen Segal.

The three-hour tour also took in the upmarket residential developments at Casuarina and Salt and the award-winning Madura Tea estate at Clothiers Creek.

Mr Payne, who was also accompanied by fellow administrators Lucy Turnbull and Max Boyd and senior council officers, said he was unable to pass informed judgement on the new residential developments at South Kingscliff.

"I could only see what I saw out of the window of the car, so it was really hard to see the impact it has, but the quality looked okay," he said.

"We have to make sure that development is properly integrated so it does not spoil the amenity or character of an area."

He said at a briefing after the tour he was told that the Tweed draws hordes of weekend daytrippers from Queensland seeking the low-key village lifestyle which had been maintained on the coastal strip.

"If people are coming here to enjoy the unique character of the area then that is something we have to take into account in assessing future developments," he said.

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