TWEED Shire Council will defend an appeal by the developers of Pottsville’s Seabreeze Estate seeking to build 65 new houses on land originally earmarked for a future high school.
Metricon, the developer behind the large coastal estate, has lodged an appeal in the Land and Environment Court (LEC) after council knocked back its application to build a 65-lot residential sub-division on land cornering Seabreeze Blvd and the Koala Beach connection road.
Councillors on Thursday agreed, on the casting vote of Mayor Katie Milne, to engage solicitors to defend the appeal, arguing the site had long been identified as a potential future high school and should remain as such.
The decision came after Cr Warren Polglase unsuccessfully argued advice should be sought prior to committing council to an expensive legal fight, which he said could cost more than $300,000.
He said the NSW Education Department had emphatically said it did not want the site.
But Cr Gary Bagnall argued private education providers had expressed interest in the land and the zoning should remain.
“There are other players out there other than the public system who have been looking at the site, and interested, just in the last couple of weeks,” Cr Bagnall said.
“The community wants to see a school there at some stage. I support we defend it.”
Cr Milne agreed, saying there was very little public land available in Pottsville and it should be maintained for the community.
“It is beholden on us as councillors to fulfil the community’s expectations,” she said.