An artist’s impression of how the supermarket and units complex might look from the Tweed Coast Road.
An artist’s impression of how the supermarket and units complex might look from the Tweed Coast Road.

Cabarita Beach Woolworths a goer

A CONTROVERSIAL $14 million Woolworths supermarket and home units complex at Cabarita Beach has been given the green light by the NSW Government even though it will breach Tweed Shire Council’s three-storey height limit for the area.

Despite the council calling on the NSW Department of Planning three months ago to uphold the height limit, Tweed mayor Warren Polglase yesterday welcomed the approval saying the supermarket and units complex would “cater for future growth in the area.”

Some businesses and residents had objected arguing the Woolworths supermarket would hurt small retailers and the complex would destroy the quiet coastal village atmosphere of Cabarita beach.

“There will always be some people who will not be supportive of it, but we need to get on,” Cr Polglase said.

“There was some concern by residents groups but I think the department took into consideration the effects it will have including those on the surrounding business operations.

“Normally you will find some of these facilities will attract more people into the area so there is an opportunity for small business to capitalise on that.”

According to the Planning Department’s director general Sam Haddad, 23 pages of conditions will “adequately mitigate the economic impact of the project” and “preserve the amenity of the locality”.

The approved plans include the controversial extra storeys, including a lower basement, basement mezzanine, ground level, level two and level three.

To “achieve an acceptable level of amenity” for future residents however the department has insisted a landscaped platform on level two in front of 21 of the complex’s proposed 40 units be enlarged by reducing the length of the units by more than one metre.

Developers WA Stockwell have valued the “part three, part four storey mixed-use development” at $14 million.

Yesterday Stockwell’s development manager Sharon Waddell said the company was pleased approval had finally been given.

She said a commencement date on construction would be subject to “pre-sales of units”.

“We will be working very hard on that,” said Ms Waddell. “We are going to put a sign up on the site over Christmas with some (phone) numbers so people can register some interest either in the residential units or the speciality retail shops.”

She said a billboard would also show a photo-montage of the planned complex.

A disappointed spokeswoman for the campaign against the complex, local surf shop and bakery employee Cheryl Johnston, said the government’s decision was “deflating”.

“It makes you want to give up, at times like this.

Ms Johnston said she had seen sign-writers measuring up parts of the site in recent days and had assumed approval had been given.

“It’s disappointing, particularly at this time of year, when the tourists come to Cabarita and say how nice the place is.

“There doesn’t seem to be much we can do about these sorts of things.

“The council did uphold the three-storey limit but that doesn’t mean anything.

“What good are laws and policies if they are not upheld?”



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