Units will ?promote flooding
By PETER CATON
TWEED Coast residents whose homes were flooded by more than a metre of water during the heavy rain of late June fear nearby development will worsen flooding.
The Bogangar residents are angry Tweed Shire Council administrators have given the go-ahead to six new unit blocks containing 60 tourist apartments fronting Cudgen Lake.
And the administrators have also been warned by a professional town planner it may be difficult to evacuate guests from the apartments during flood.
The $3.7 million development is in addition to a $4 million revamp of the existing Cabarita Gardens Lakes Resort given the go-ahead prior to Christmas.
The administrators approved amendments to plans for the proposed buildings - originally given approval in 1988 after hearing that technically, building work had "substantially commenced" with drainage and other works done.
Tamarind Avenue resident Tammy Cowan says she and other neighbours are furious at the decision and believe Mother Earth Developments, which took over the resort earlier this year, should do a flood study.
She believed none had been done.
"Our houses went under by over a metre in June, now they are going to put 60 units behind our homes," she said.
"When the lake does flood, that's going to act as a dam."
The residents dispute the company's claims the development has already begun and therefore the original approval has not lapsed.
"They've mowed a bit of lawn. That's not starting building," Mrs Cowan said.
A town planner hired by the residents, Chris Larkin of Planit Consultants, warned the administrators previous legal advice through the 1990's that development had begun was incorrect and may well result in further legal action.
"A review of the site from neighbouring properties and the public domain and council's aerial photography has revealed no work has commenced," he said.
Mrs Cowan said other residents around Bogangar were also upset that the resort had now fenced off land which for many years had given the public access to Cudgen Lake.
Spokesman for Mother Earth Development Greg McCree, in defending the project, told the council his company was simply seeking amendments to already approved plans and the area had been fenced due to public liability issues.
The council's planning committee chairperson, administrator Lucy Turnbull, said the advice that work had substantially begun meant the development had to be allowed to proceed.