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Debate hits new heights over Kingscliff building limits

KEEPING IT DOWN: Alan Kirk, Jeanette Duke, Leone Suter and Cr Ron Cooper discuss the petition.
KEEPING IT DOWN: Alan Kirk, Jeanette Duke, Leone Suter and Cr Ron Cooper discuss the petition. Contributed

COMMUNITY feedback on the proposed new height restrictions at Kingscliff will be sought after a lengthy debate at Tweed Shire Council on Thursday.

During discussion of the draft Kingscliff Locality Plan, councillor Ron Cooper - who ran his entire election campaign on stopping high-rises from being built in Kingscliff - asked the council to limit the building height of medium-density residential zones to 12.2m and business zones to 13.6m.

"The 12.2m limit means residential buildings can be no higher than three storeys,” Cr Cooper said.

"While the 13.6m limit would allow three storeys but could create higher ceilings for shops and ducted air-conditioning.”

Cr Cooper presented his petition - which had more than 14,000 signatures - opposing buildings of more than three storeys from being built in the popular Tweed coastal town.

"When you talk to people who live in Kingscliff, they're concerned about where (development) goes from here,” Cr Cooper said.

But Cr James Owen said while he wasn't promoting the development of high-rises in Kingscliff, it was important to ensure residents weren't adversely impacted in the future by any limits imposed now.

"We need to consider up to five storeys. This sets a very dangerous precedent,” Cr Owen said.

"Kingscliff is a town of the future, we can keep its character but we need to cater for the tourists and extra residents.

"If we could go up to five (storeys), it could give more options for public amenities like a library. We're limiting negotiation with developers. It limits council's ability to negotiate better outcomes for the community because there's always a trade-off.

"It's potentially catastrophic for Kingscliff.”

The council's director of planning, Vince Connell, said it was important to provide opportunities for development when drafting the Kingscliff Locality Plan.

"The whole premise of this locality plan was to look at the whole of Kingscliff holistically, not just in a small area but holistically to see what can be done,” MrConnell said.

"If it's the community's wishes to not support (the proposed height limits), then officers support that. There must be some form of incentive for development in this area.”

The draft Kingscliff Locality Plan will now be placed on public exhibition for community response.

Topics:  kingscliff kingscliff locality plan ron cooper tweed shire council



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