Claims subdivision inappropriate

HASTINGS Point residents, battling against a housing and tourist subdivision they claim would be built in a floodplain, have been shocked Tweed Shire Council's building officers have approved filling on a nearby house block.

They claim it is a repetition of a council bungle just over a year ago when building staff approved an initial house on the site of the proposed subdivision without referring the matter to the council's planning department.

After that incident the council's director of planning and regulation Vince Connell said the building unit had been made aware of planning issues at Hastings Point.

Solicitor John O'Reilly, who has been championing the fight of local residents against “inappropriate development”, said filling on the house site owned by the same company behind the planned subdivision would block the flow of floodwater.

He warned plans for a raised road to the subdivision behind his Creek Street house combined with the filling of the block could make his home “a swimming pool in flood times”.

“It's just another bungle where one would expect the building services unit is on the same page as the planning unit,” Mr O'Reilly said.

Council documents reveal the owners of 6 Creek Street received approval last July for a house with an elevated timber floor with all sides covered by concrete block.

In November the owner's consultants sought a change for a house on a concrete slab on fill.

Approval of the altered plan was granted by a senior building officer on December 17.

Mr Connell yesterday said continuing criticism of the council's building unit staff was “inappropriate and unfounded”. He said the fill “generally complies with council's development controls”.

“Council officers had a clear technical understanding of the drainage and flooding conditions affecting this site,” he said.

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