A new development is back on the drawing board for Casuarina after more than seven years in limbo.
A new development is back on the drawing board for Casuarina after more than seven years in limbo.

Casuarina Sands on move

DEVELOPERS are forging ahead with plans for a new 170-house estate near the recently approved Casuarina Town Centre.

Consolidated Properties have lodged a development application with Tweed Shire Council for the subdivision, known as The Sands.

It will be located on the western side of Casuarina Way immediately north of the new town centre.

Don O’Rorke, Consolidated Properties’ managing director, said it made sense to revive the long-delayed project following the approval of the Casuarina Town Centre.

“The two sites are virtually next to each other and very complementary, so it’s logical to do them both together and fully complete the balance of the Casuarina Beach development in one go,” Mr O’Rorke said.

“It’s a fairly straightforward application, so we’re hoping the council and planning panel can process it by Christmas so that we can start work on the first stage of the town centre at the same time as home sites in The Sands.”

Mr O’Rorke said the project had been “mothballed” since early 2006 after they were unable to secure approval from the NSW Department of Planning.

He said state legislative changes over the past three years hade made a development application once again viable.

Mr O’Rorke said Consolidated now hoped to develop both the $400 million town centre and The Sands in tandem, assuming approval for the subdivision application.

The 20-hectare Sands site has ministerial master plan approval, allowing development as housing lots.

Consolidated lodged its original development application with the state government for The Sands in 2002 and released the 133 lots for sale, selling out the entire precinct off-the-plan.

But in June 2005 Consolidated was forced to walk away from the $30 million it had secured in sales at The Sands, and refund deposits plus interest to all purchasers because of a 30-month delay in securing subdivision approval.

The delay meant Consolidated was unable to deliver the land to purchasers within the contracted time frame, thus making the contracts invalid and in turn jeopardising the development’s financing.

Mr O’Rorke said the episode was deeply disappointing to all concerned and it had been very difficult to walk away from $30 million in sales.

“Although it is still the case in NSW that residential land can be released for sale without a development approval in place, we won’t be doing it again,” he said.

Mr O’Rorke said the previous application had to be remodelled, with the new application now comprising an additional 37 lots each averaging 600sqm. Pricing is yet to be determined.

“We will work closely with Tweed Shire Council and the Joint Regional Planning Panel to ensure the outcomes for The Sands are exactly what they want,” he said.

“We’re hopeful that if we can quickly agree on the merits and detail of the application that it can be processed and finalised to allow the first release of home sites early in the new year.”

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