RESIDENTS oppose a new Woolworths.
RESIDENTS oppose a new Woolworths.

Fightback against Cabarita complex

SMALL businesses in Cabarita and residents who don't want their coastal village to become “over-developed” have begun fighting back against a four-storey retail and home unit complex which would include a Woolworths supermarket.

Five local businesses have made available petitions against the four-storey complex which Tweed Shire Greens Party councillor Katie Milne has warned could set another precedent for scrapping the area's official three-storey height limit.

“We don't want it,” said Noddy's Bakery employee Cheryl Johns- ton, who also fears the proposed shopping mall and supermarket will cost the jobs of exiting employees.

“A lot of people live here because there is no over-development.

“The majority of Cabarita never even wanted the Beach Resort. There are shops there that are empty that could fit a supermarket in.

“With 40 units, it will just be like Tweed Heads.”

Local real estate agent Jamie Wilmen slammed endorsement of the project by the local business association and residents' association.

“I think there have been a select few in our associations that have been making up their mind on behalf of the town,” he said.

“No one else in the whole town has known about it. It has been the biggest secret of all time.

“Now the cat's out of the bag and everybody is having their two bob's worth, there is a groundswell of opposition.”

Mr Wilmen said the complex, which stretches between the Tweed Coast Road and Hastings Road would have an unsightly appearance fronting Hastings Road and degrade that section of the village.

He hopes residents will turn up to protest against the development at the next Cabarita Beach Residents' Association meeting in the local bowls club, The Cabarita Beach Sports Club, from 7pm on Monday, July 13.

Tweed councillors last week voted to pass on to the NSW Department of Planning some concerns about the $16 million complex which would include the Woolworths supermarket, other shops and 40 home units but not insist that it keep to the three- storey height limit.

The Cabarita Residents' Association supported the plans after being consulted by Queensland-based developer Stockwell, which argues other buildings higher than three storeys already exist in the area.

Ms Johnston said despite the residents' association backing for the plan she believed 70 per cent of local people had not been told about it and more were “against it than for it”.

“We are against the size of the project, and the Woolies itself is going to put a lot of small business out of business,” she said.

“They are saying it will create jobs, but what about looking after the ones who have already got jobs?”

President of the Cabarita Resident's Association Cath Lynch last week said the supermarket was sorely needed and the 13.6-metre-high building would only very slightly exceed general height rules.

She said the proposed Woolworths would benefit the community.

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