Win in Hastings high rise fight
A TWELVE-year battle to prevent high-scale development at Hastings Point has finally been won by the Hastings Point Progress Association.
Tweed Shire Council approved a Locality Development Code for the seaside township last month, but Mayor Kevin Skinner moved a motion to reverse the decision.
That motion was defeated at last night’s council meeting, meaning future developments at Hastings Point will be limited to two storeys.
Proposed development at Lot 156 will be affected by the code but remains under the control of the NSW Department of Planning.
Councillor Joan van Lieshout said she supported the development code as a representation of the best interests of the majority.
“My responsibility as a councillor is to hear the people because they live there,” she said.
“We have a responsibility to look at the majority and look at the merits and what the people really want and then make a decision that is best for the majority of the people and I believe Hastings is an example of that.
“A down-zoning I believe is going to be very valuable in the future because there will be nothing like this in the region, where you can go and find simplicity in a little seaside village.”
Councillor Katie Milne also expressed her support for the progress association.
“We’re talking about a very prominent hillside location,” she said.
“It’s not an unreasonable request and I commend them highly for their dedication and perseverance.”
Cr Skinner, who lodged the motion against the development plan, said the battle was “one of the most difficult debates” he had been involved in.
“I do not believe I, or for that matter any elected member of this country, should have the right to down-zone anyone’s land, and as a result I will always oppose this happening,” he said.
Association member Richard Gow expressed his relief following the decision to limit development in the seaside village.
“It’s a good end to a long fight,” he said.
Another association member Jan Garvey wished to thank the Progress Association’s legal representative John O’Reilly.
“If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have been able to fight the way we have, he’s dedicated three years to this fight.”