Beach site unsuitable for police

TWEED Shire Council planning officers have recommended against approval of a new $8 million Tweed Byron police headquarters on the beachfront at Kingscliff, citing a lack of car parking as a major reason for refusal.

The police force wants to build the new complex on the Marine Pde site of the current Kingscliff police station and two adjacent police houses, with up to 48 staff present at any one time.

But only 34 car-parking spaces are proposed on-site with at least two spots for "operational vehicles" and another 13 part of a holding yard for impounded or crashed vehicles.

The council planners have recommended the Joint Regional Planning Panel rejects the development application when it meets in the Tweed Heads Civic Centre on Monday.

Consultants for the police department have argued enough on-site parking would be provided and "there is abundant kerbside and public off-street parking in the area, with capacity for approximately 215 vehicles".

The council planners have responded, saying at least 23 more on-site spaces are needed for staff car parking and no figures have been provided for "expected customer numbers".

They disputed the availability of 215 spaces in surrounding streets.

"Many of the areas identified in Marine Pde and Kingscliff St are street frontages for residential development and the areas on the eastern side of Marine Pde are considered to provide parking for members of the public to utilise the foreshore parks and the beach," they said in their report to the planning panel. The planners also argue the site is too small for the development.

"It is not considered that the site is suitable to accommodate the size and scale of police station proposed," they said.

The planning panel's decision is subject to acceptance by NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard.



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