Leisure Drive residents have told Tweed Shire Council that they don’t want the poinciana trees removed in any upgrade of the road.
Leisure Drive residents have told Tweed Shire Council that they don’t want the poinciana trees removed in any upgrade of the road. Blainey Woodham

Banora locals fear new 'freeway'

SOME residents of Banora Point fear busy four-lane ‘freeways’ will soon slice through the heavily populated suburb, which is a retreat for many retirees.

And they are protesting against council plans to cut down rows of colourful poinciana trees to make way for the traffic lanes.

Homeowner Peter Smith said people living along Leisure Drive had been sent a letter late last month advising them Tweed Shire Council had lodged a development application (DA) for the upgrade of the road, with details set to be made public on Wednesday this week.

“This is of course the first any residents have heard of the upgrade,” said Mr Smith, who said he subsequently checked the council website and found to his horror the upgrade plans were buried in a 2007 document outlining fees developers pay for road improvements.

“In this schedule it is quite plain that a four-lane expressway is planned and costed for Leisure Drive from Fraser Drive to Winder’s Place,” he said.

“Residents have two weeks to have a say about this after years of the council knowing about it.”

Mr Smith said he also noticed a plan to increase Fraser Drive to four lanes from Kirkwood Road to Leisure Drive was in the pipeline.

“Why do we need expressways though Banora Point?” he asked.

“It will increase noise and this is a retirement area. Also of course all the lovely poinciana trees will need to be cut down.

“This is something that the council tried to achieve whilst the Darlington Retirement complex was being built.

“They tried to back-door a minor variation to that DA to allow all the trees to be cut down to allow easier building of the sound reflection wall.

“This was spotted and stopped by a councillor at the time.”

A council spokesperson said the council in October 2007 (under administrators) approved funds for widening Leisure Drive to four lanes between Eucalyptus Drive and Winders Place originally to be spent during the 2008/09 financial year.

At the time a council report warned major congestion was being experienced between Woodlands Drive and Greenway Drive in peak hours partly due to the two lane roundabout at Greenway Drive not being fully utilised by motorists as they have to merge when exiting the roundabout.

The spokesperson said the plan to increase Fraser Drive to four lanes had been in the pipeline for many years.



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