Bilambil developers fire back at residents
DEVELOPERS of a controversial $13.6m high-density housing estate planned for Bilambil Village originally wanted to fit 72 blocks on the 4.7 hectare site.
Responding to resident concerns that 52 blocks on the site was far too many, Project Manager John Sherwood told the Tweed Daily News the number of blocks in the estate was already significantly reduced before plans were put out for public comment.
He said the original plans were for 72, then 64, then finally a compromise was reached with the Department of Planning for the current number of 52.
“We need to have that amount of blocks to do this. The process of compromise has already happened before the meeting.” he said.
With extensive works needed to build the low-lying block up, along with the construction of a sewerage system and $1.47m in section 94 contributions to pay to Tweed Shire Council, the site was exceptionally expensive, Mr Sherwood said.
“If someone wants to help reduce the cost of our section 94 contribution, we would be happy to reduce the number of blocks.”
He maintained the development would be an improvement for the area and good for the environment, with 30 per cent of the site allocated as riparian zone and revegetation works planned along Bilambil Creek.
“This site has been rezoned for a reason, it has degraded to the point where it will never be able to go back to use for farming,” Mr Sherwood said.
He added that all over Australia there was a desperate need for “affordable” housing estates and this development would provide one for the Tweed.
“We want to work with the community and make something as a positive for the community. We are not here with an intention to rape and pillage, we are here to do something properly.”
Mr Sherwood said the developer wanted to start up a committee to work with the local community.
Meanwhile, the Bilambil Progress Association has finished the submission it will send to the Department of Planning outlining issues it has with the development.
Association President Coral Clarke said a meeting would be held at 6.30pm at the Bilambil Town Hall on Thursday night for locals to meet and decide whether they were happy with the submission.
Mrs Clarke encouraged other concerned members of the public to lodge submissions to the department, before the August 31 deadline.