West Banora estate vetoed

By PETER CATON

PLANS for a 240-lot housing estate at West Banora Point have been scuttled by the NSW Government partly because steep hills would be cut open by bulldozers.

NSW Planning Minister Craig Knowles has used State Government coastal protection planning powers to scuttle a proposed master plan for the new estate saying extensive "cut and fill operations" would result in "three to six metre retaining wall".

"That is unacceptable," said Mr Knowles.

"There would also have been significant environmental and residential impacts from the cut and fill operations."

Greenview Developments had proposed the massive new estate more than two years ago with the master plan going to the Department of Infrastructure and Planning for assessment.

Directors of the company have previously successfully developed estates, including Belle View Heights at Murwillumbah, which also used extensive cut and fill operations.

Engineering consultant Martin Findlater said the department had not provided official advice of the decision but his client was "bitterly disappointed".

He said he was shocked that after two years of talks with the department, the master plan had been rejected for reasons including the amount of earthworks.

Mr Findlater said it was preferable for a developer to build retaining walls than for the work to be done later by builders or homeowners and buyers wanted it that way.

"The blocks that are steep, people don't want to live there," he said. "The ones that have the earthworks, people buy them."

Mr Knowles said the site was steep, had areas of instability and the subdivision did not provide buffer zones for remnant vegetation and wetland areas which were home to a range of threatened and endangered wildlife.

"In addition there would be little recreational benefit from the proposed open space, which is not linked to the development," he said.

"Whilst there is development potential for the site, any future development proposal must meet the aims and objectives of SEPP 71, the NSW Coastal Policy 1997 as well as local Council policy, and be more sensitive to the existing landscape."



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