COUNCIL officers have slapped a stop-work order on developers at Hastings Point who have been accused of trimming trees in an environmental zone only days after details of a planned creek-side subdivision were made public.
A fierce row had already been brewing over the proposals opposed by Hastings Point residents who have been fighting what they see as inappropriate development in the Tweed Coast village
Last week the NSW Department of Planning posted on its internet website details of the proposed subdivision for 36 housing lots and two tourist lots alongside a tidal waterway known as Christies Creek.
Long-time landholder, Gold Coast company Walter Elliot Holdings, wants to develop about 30 per cent of its property there, giving 14 hectares to Tweed Shire Council for public open space which it has argued should satisfy local people who for years have been fighting for public access through its land to the creek.
Tweed Shire Council officers were called to the property on Friday afternoon by neighbours alarmed at what they thought was the beginning of clearing work being done in advance of an inspection by NSW Planning Department officials.
A Council spokesperson said officers “attended the site and noted that branches and limbs had been trimmed in a 7a (environment protection) zone, which is not permissible without consent”.
“The workers were told to cease work and they co-operated fully with this request,” the spokeswoman said.
“Council considers that there has been a breach and is considering what action to take.”
Hastings Point Progress Association supporter Jan Garvey said the group, which is continuing its “battle of Hastings Point” against over-development, was extremely concerned by the latest development proposals.
But she said town planning experts advising the association had just begun studying the detailed plans.
“It's not about development; it's about doing the right thing,” she added.
Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase said the development approval would be decided by the NSW Department of Planning, but warned all sides should be prepared to negotiate rather than fight in court.